Technology gets a bad rap with respect to relationships these days.  Sometimes with good reason.  After all, couples fight over how much they are in their cell phones instead of being “present” for the conversation.  Online dating is filled with stories about how Brad Pitt’s online twin showed up looking more like Danny DeVito (sorry Danny – we know you are far more charming).   How about the breakup by text or the dreaded “ghosting”?  I could go on and on.  But today, on the most romantic day of the year, I am here to tell the other side of the story.  The truth is, technology is actually improving your love life.  What’s that?  You don’t believe me?  Let me count the ways…

#1 Technology Helps You Get Out of the Office Earlier

According to McKinsey’s research, the average person spends more than 9 hours per week sorting through emails, looking for documents or recreating misplaced documents. By using technology to do a lot of the traditional, manual work processes, we can get home earlier.  I know many lawyers and salespeople who, for example, use legal automation to save time on their contract management.  They report they see an immediate difference in how much time it takes for them to close deals and execute documents.  What can you do with all that saved time?  I’m not talking about doing more work.  There is always more work.  Instead, you can go home and see your partner or family.  Think about how much happier your partner will be knowing that you don’t have to miss dinner or a planned, romantic evening out on the town.  Think about how much happier you will be if you can be out on a date meeting the love of your life instead of at the office, reviewing a contract with microwaved cup o’ noodles for dinner.

#2 Technology Helps You Never Miss An Anniversary

I remember being excited to go on a romantic weekend to San Francisco to celebrate my one-year wedding anniversary.  Two days before the trip, the partner requested that I draft an appellate brief.  Please join me in a collective “ugh”.  We’ve all been there.   The most frustrating thing is that I knew a colleague had drafted a very similar brief five years earlier but he was no longer at the firm and I could not get in touch with him.  After a search and a few phone calls, I was told the document could not be located in time.  So there I was on my romantic weekend holed up in a San Francisco hotel room while my husband spent the day touring beautiful Sausalito with friends.  To this day, I have never been to Sausalito.  To this day, I doubt my husband has fully forgiven me.  And I can’t even remember what that dumb brief was about.  Today, we have tracking technology and storage systems with document tagging to avoid this problem.  We also have automated notification systems so partners have no excuse for waiting to the last minute!

#3 Technology Saves You Two Weeks Per Year

A recent survey found that technology saves the average person two weeks per year.  It cited activities like self-service checkouts, internet shopping or banking.  It found that people save six-and-a-half hours per week because of tech support in these areas.  This comes to about two weeks per year of time savings.  If you add on the time you save if you use legal automation in your workplace, you could at least double that number. 

How would you spend another 2 or 3 weeks of free time each year?  I know.  Take a nice long, romantic vacation with your significant other.  How does Hawaii sound?  Or Bora Bora?  A staycation at a local resort with complimentary champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries?  Or a romantic ski lodge with a roaring fire instead? Yes, please.  Let me count the ways… 

Maria Syms

Maria Syms

Maria started her career as a lawyer in the early nineties at a D.C. international law firm. She worked on a clunky WANG computer that was far from “user-friendly”. Having ridden the technology wave (both good and bad), Maria understands how the right technology can be used to create value and grow your business. Maria practiced as a partner in a law firm representing multinational corporations, an Assistant United States Attorney and an Assistant Attorney General. She was also an elected Arizona lawmaker. Maria holds a Master’s degree from Harvard, a law degree from American University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She is a member of the Arizona, California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and D.C. bars.