How do technology and social networks affect the couple?

How do technology and social networks affect the couple?

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Privacy is dead and Social Media killed her.”Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO

  • Pedro, constantly consults his phone at lunchtime with his partner and that has led him to great discussions with Beatriz because he feels ignored.
  • Bertha, shares the password of her cell phone with her boyfriend David, and he taking advantage of his absence has thoroughly reviewed each and every one of his beloved's messages, searching the WhatsApp for proof of infidelity.
  • Armando has an application to look for sexual partners, what he did not know is that his current girlfriend also has the same application when they had promised, a fidelity agreement.
  • Guillermina received the love message from her ex, and Ricardo her boyfriend, angered the degree of cutting it, but before slapping her.

What do all these people have in common? They use technology, have social networks and their behaviors have generated discussions and many problems.


Technology involves ideas and knowledge to solve specific problems and meet the needs of individuals. Its development covers areas as diverse as: medicine, space travel, the location of a street or communicating with the couple to make an appointment. For this it has devices (hardware) and specialized programs (software) that allow us to communicate, monitor the house while on vacation or track a shipment to the other side of the world.

Today, it would be very difficult to think about the world without these supports, which in the paradox complicate and facilitate our life, and relationships. We are social and relational beings and our essence is communication with others. It is precisely this aspect that is most distorted with the use of technology in combination with our personality and social networks.

The use of electronic devices (iPads, smartphones, tablets, blackberryes and personal computers) in combination with social networks and the way we socialize today virtually affects who uses them positively and negatively.


  • 1 What is a social network?
  • 2 Structure and operation of a social network
  • 3 The impact of using networks as a couple
  • 4 The pleasure centers are activated like a drug and the networks catch
  • 5 Positive and negative effects of the use of technology and social networks
  • 6 Considerations of the use of social networks when living as a couple
  • 7 Recommendations for the use of social networks as a couple

What is a social network?

A social network is a type of application, which is used through Internet with a browser, used to connect people with their friends and to make new friends in the process.

On the other hand, all social networks serve to connect people to each otherThat is the fundamental objective: to foster and strengthen interpersonal relationships.

At present, there are more than 70 social networks specialized in: Photographs, Lifestyle, Tourism, Mobile, Video, Meetings, Business, For teenagers and young adults, Related to Blogs and International Social Networks. Among the most common we have: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is not exactly a network, but it works as if it were, it is a small program that is installed on the cell phone and allows us to send text messages, multimedia messages such as videos, images, audio, even voice memos.

Connecting people goes from the completely colloquial (couple network, friends or family) to the most curious and strange: Catmoji and Doggy Talky (aimed at lovers of cats and dogs), Livr (network for drunks), Vivino (all for wine lovers), Untappd (specialized in beer drinkers, locates places of interest; breweries and bars), Cloak (network for antisocials, avoids meeting undesirable or known people), Between (exclusively for couples where you can share all your intimate things), MeetAtTheAirport (to make appointments of all kinds when you travel by plane; romance, friendship, travel companion, business), Footballalbum (for football fans where you can comment on photos, games, plays and everything related with this sport), MyBusyMeal (to eat and do business) (ABCtecnología, 2014).

Some of the most popular networks to interact and get sexual, fun or just chat are: Tinder, Meetic, Badoo, Happn, Muapp, Adoptauntio, Bumble, Jaha, Teasr; Gropyfy, Grindr, Wapa, Desire, Couple, 3nder, MiuMeet, OkCupid, Ashley Madison, eHarmony and Good2Go among others (Alcolea, 2016).

Immediacy in communication can be an extremely important element when it comes to knowing something about the couple or the people around us, as is the case with the concern for a family member in case of an earthquake. It can approach us even when it is miles away, but also in the paradox it can move us away if we discover any unwanted message from the couple to another person that is not us. Above all, if it is an intimate message. It can be the use of an application to link or get a partner like those mentioned above or it can be your personal network and contact with a former partner, examiner, neighbor or colleague from work or school.

Structure and operation of a social network

It is a social structure composed of people, organizations or entities that are connected to each other, by one or several types of relationships such as: friendship, kinship, economic relations, sexual relations, educational, common interests, experimentation of the same beliefs, between other possibilities (Christakis & Fowler, 2010).

Two people who communicate is already a social network or dyad, although there are many and they have different formats.

Social networks have several characteristics:

  • Two elements can be observed:
    • Connection or links (number of people we have in the network) and
    • Contagion: We tend to copy the behavior of those with whom we are connected. We are affected by the people with whom we are connected and their emotional states (happiness, hate, violence, fashion).
  • It has contagion rules:
    • It is we who shape our network. We have a tendency to choose the same (homophilia). Our network shapes us. Our friends influence us. We surround ourselves with healthy or sick people. Our friends' friends influence the way we behave and vice versa. Many times we lose control of the network, because it has a life of its own.
  • The interaction of members in the network:
    • The key to understanding networks is to understand the ties that bind or distance people. Everyone in the network is thinking beings. In networks they are strengthened (sympathy, friendship) or destroyed (antipathy, violence) bonds and reactions become more intense (love and hate).
  • Training and operation:
    • Friends of my friends are my friends
    • The enemies of my enemies are my freinds
    • My friend's enemies are my enemies.

And all this means that we are connected (Christakis & Fowler, 2010).

The impact of using networks as a couple

It is estimated worldwide that the use of Facebook has caused 28 million divorces, that is, it is the cause of separation of one in five divorces. It is estimated that in Mexico 30% of users have had problems with their partners due to the use of this network (, 2013).

The constant use of networks puts us in a virtual but open world where we can have access to the location of the other person, the friends with whom he lives, the places of interest he has visited, the people who have given "I like "To your posts or even if openly someone sent a message to our partner and we don't like it, or even if our partner has added in his social network to his ex or someone who unleashes jealousy.

The turning point or break point are: the messages we found and that our partner has sent or that they have sent to our partner or if we find any evidence hacking their social networks, their mobile or their email, it is an equivalent electronic fingerprint, to the lipstick on the shirt, or the hotel ticket.

Although there is no physical test, the brain interprets as real, any virtual pun, because for him it is the same, although there has never been any physical contact.

In an investigation, published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, it shows that “we use the same brain machinery when we actively look and when we simply imagine”Says Nancy Kanwisher, associate professor of cognitive and neural sciences at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT News, 2000).

Although there is no physical contact with a person you can practice sexting (virtual sex) or you can even hire a virtual sex service.

For some couples even knowing that their partner consults erotic pages can be interpreted as a virtual infidelity. It also includes being enrolled in an application to have deliberate sex as in the case of Tinder, or a professional virtual infidelity service where a whole scenario is set up that includes the invitation of a congress outside the city and includes an official statement ”That arrives at the doors of the house of the person who hires him and even answers congress personnel to set the whole stage in a real way.

All this also includes messages with the intention of meeting someone (known or not) with the intention of having privacy.

Then then, although there is no real contact with someone in many cases, it represents a real threat to those who live it and it has the same devastating effects as in a face-to-face infidelity.

The pleasure centers are activated like a drug and the networks catch

Everything we like tends to repeat it. Sex can catch us because it generates pleasure. And with one experience full of adrenaline and dopamine when experiencing virtual or face-to-face meetings A person could get trapped. Insistently looking for a partner in the network and living the experience could be interpreted by the brain like any other face-to-face experience. Hence, a person could live in a loop, virtual or face-to-face with different couples looking for diversity, as is the case with the famous Coolidge effect and putting the break with their love life as a couple in real and face watering.

Legend has it that the so-called Coolidge effect owes its name to a somewhat peculiar anecdote. One day in 1924, Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the thirtieth president of the United States, was visiting with his wife Grace on a bird farm on the occasion of the campaign acts for his re-election. When Mrs. Coolidge realized the sexual vigor of a rooster, she asked the guide about the number of times the animal could mate in a day. Knowing that it was a high number (about 20 times a day), she was impressed and asked the man to comment so interesting information to the president. When the latter listened to the statistics, he asked the informant if the rooster encounters were always with the same hen. The guide explained what was happening with a different chicken each time. The president asked him to share this information with Mrs. Coolidge (Lambert, 2017).

Positive and negative effects of the use of technology and social networks

The relationship can be affected in many ways in the positive and the negative:

In the negative our partner is dedicated more to virtual life than in person:

  • Working and answering emails when arriving home.
  • Playing (on the phone or on the computer), consulting and attending to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp), entering erotic pages.
  • Starting or maintaining an infidelity relationship (real or virtual).

On the positive side, technology helps us to:

  • Strengthen our bonds of coexistence with: a message of good morning, to know the state of health, the location, the change of an appointment, notify of an emergency, send sites of interest or possibilities of buying an item if the couple is not in person, send Loving or even erotic messages addressed to the couple and more.

Considerations of the use of social networks when living as a couple

It is important that both have the clarity that there is information that they can control, but another definitely not. For example, if a person makes a comment to the couple in their networks, it is the responsibility of the person involved to put a limit on others. But sometimes the emotionality of a moment like this, the partner's counterpart is authorized to answer defending their territory and creating uncomfortable situations because most of the time our social networks are open.

It is important take care of our personal life, and not make a soap opera where other people are surely not interested in our lives, but sometimes we feel the need to share our intimate moments with other people.

Our personal life is personal and intimate, and many times by sharing our happiness on the networks, we generate problems or envies that we can very well avoid and live them fully in privacy.

It may interest you: A new anxiety disorder: What is FOMO?

Recommendations for the use of social networks as a couple

Without being intrusive with the other person it will be worth establishing some exclusive rules for each couple. A, below are just a few examples of them, but they are the responsibility of each couple.

  • Leave the mobile at lunchtime.
  • Do not answer message while it is time to sleep or make love.
  • Set a schedule for face-to-face coexistence.
  • Agree on what cases yes and which not? The keys or passwords of social networks or electronic devices (mobile or personal computer) can be shared.
  • Establish the rules or times of virtual or face-to-face coexistence.
  • Take into consideration what aspects they can control of the networks and which others cannot, so that third parties (family, friends, acquaintances or strangers) do not generate additional conflicts in everyday life.
  • Communicate to the couple if they have new technological devices and know the networks they officially use, as well as the type of content expected to be contained.
  • Establish a commitment of fidelity in a virtual or face-to-face way, in which the most important thing is the coexistence of the couple.
  • In the event of any eventuality having a positive and decisive attitude to make decisions where both members benefit and do not make determinations if they are in an emotional state out of control.
  • If things get out of control, go to a professional therapeutic help.

It may interest you: 90 phrases for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks


ABCtecnología (2014) The 10 strangest social networks, accessed on February 21, 2018, online: //

Alcolea R. (2016) The 20 best Apps to flirt, woman today, accessed on February 21, 2018, online: // flirt-20160531180103.html

Christakis N. & Fowler J. (2010) Concetados, Taurus Editorial, Mexico. (2013) Studies reveal that Facebook has caused 28 million divorces, accessed on February 21, 2018, Online: // has-caused-28-millions-of-divorces.html

Lambert K. (2017) Sex in rodents, Research and Science (Notebooks Mind & Brain), 1st semester 2017, Spain.

MIT News (2000) Seeing and imagining are the same for the brain, Altruistic Gene, Accessed on February 21, 2018, Online: //

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