Report Suggests Technology Brings Families Together

Dennis Faas's picture

Think technology helps or hinders society? Granted, cellphones cause traffic accidents, cars pollute, and video games keep kids immobile and out of shape. However, recent research shows that many of these same technologies are bringing families together like never before.

In the 1930s and 1940s, families often gathered 'round the household radio, listening intently to news on new New Deal policies or the progress of the American Army's march across Europe during World War II. In the following two or three decades, television also brought nuclear units together as families gathered to watch monumental events like the first televised presidential debate and the lunar landing. However, as technology expanded in the 1980s, the general perception was that with more televisions, computers, and cellphones, families drifted apart to their own spheres in and outside the home.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, that belief is misleading. Instead, cellphones are valuable in keeping parents in touch with each other and their children -- even though most of us feel like all those teens are doing is talking to their friends. In addition, the Internet and services like MSN Messenger and Facebook allow family members to keep in contact with one another as each head off to school and work (well, at least those workplaces that haven't banned social networking services). (Source:

The proof lies with the parents: at least one quarter of survey respondents said they felt closer with their current families than those of their own childhood. 76 per cent of parents believed they could better keep in touch with their children if text messaging services were available to them, and another 68 per cent admitted that they used instant messaging to send love notes to their spouses (awwwwww!). (Source:

It's not all love and roses, however. According to Pew, those households with the most technology are most likely to be dependent on two incomes, which means that parents work longer hours and see their children (and each other) less.

After all, they don't give those iPhones away, no matter how much you beg...believe me.

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