Networked Families

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Networked Families

A new study released by Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals that families are taking advantage of technology to stay connected with each other.

Technology is enabling new forms of family connectedness that revolve around remote cell phone interactions and communal internet experiences.

Although some commentators have expressed fears that technology pulls families apart, this survey finds that couples use their phones to connect and coordinate their lives, especially if they have children at home. American spouses often go their separate ways during the day, but remain connected by cell phones and to some extent by internet communications. When they return home, they often have shared moments of exploration and entertainment on the internet.

This new connectedness via cell phone and screen-sharing is correlated with some benefits for family life. For example, those with the most technology are more likely to share moments with family members while they are online and to exchange some kinds of family communications such as checking in with other family members and coordinating activities.

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project