Technology has had a tremendous impact on our relationships, both personally and professionally. Some argue that our infatuation with technology has become detrimental to the interaction between individuals, while others argue that these advancements have only enhanced our connectivity and improved our daily lives. Wherever your opinions lie, there is no denying that the evolution of technology has played a significant role on the dynamics of our daily interactions.
We’ve taken a deeper look at how advances in technology have affected each of our key relationships.
Customer Relationships– 24/7/365 is the new standard. With the evolution of business technology, social media platforms, email, live chat, business phone apps and online community platforms, another layer of accountability has been established, keeping businesses on their toes like never before. Customer expectations have changed dramatically with this new accessibility to support teams and the plethora of platforms now available to voice concerns publicly. The upside of this round-the-clock connectivity is that the customer experience has improved tremendously; but it is certainly a big undertaking for businesses today to manage. A negative post on social media has a much greater impact than the past’s frustrated voicemail messages that never got shared past internal teams. Technology has significantly influenced how we manage and approach customer relationships and will continue to set the bar high for customer service in the future.
Management and Employee Relationships-Just a few clicks of separation. Some would argue that technology has broken the barriers that used to exist and made communications between managers and their employees less intimidating. Need to ask for time off? Long gone are the days where you need to call in; the majority of employees today just send a text or quick email instead of having that awkward conversation about what’s going on in their personal lives. In addition, the day-to-day communications like questions about projects or customer issues, even though you may sit just a few feet away from your manager, are primarily communicated via email. It may be less personal, but many prefer to have that extra degree of separation and instant, electronic access to their supervisor.
Co-worker Relationships- Email is our best friend. We correspond via email more than any other form of communication. A great benefit of email is it provides written records of important requests and information to refer back to. Not to mention, it’s a much less intimidating way to ask a coworker for assistance with something. Email may irrefutably be the best thing that ever happened to modern day professionals. As a result, the amount of actual face-to-face interactions between coworkers has greatly decreased. However, even though we may prefer a more “hands-off” approach, our ability to network and collaborate on projects effectively thanks to inventions like email and video conferencing software is at an all-time high.
Personal Relationships- We talk less and transcribe more. Texts, emails and social media posts have become the go-to method for communicating with our family, friends and significant others. It’s a great convenience to able to send a short message instead of committing to a full conversation with every person in your life. And it’s undeniably a great way to share important life events with the masses like engagements and births of children, but it’s also a way less personal approach. We tend to communicate more frequently in this manner, but with less of a true interpersonal connection that conversations provide. This increased frequency has also resulted in electronic device addictions for many, which we’ve all seen can take away from the face-to-face interactions we share with loved ones.
Ultimately, we’ve seen how technology can help and hinder our relationships. It has undoubtedly enhanced our customer service and some of our business-related relationships; however, it can often be a hindrance to our personal relationships. With all of this new technology at your disposal, it’s up to you to determine when and how to use it best. The types of technology you employ and the choices you make will have a great impact on all of the relationships in your life.