Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Family Meals & Technology Use: A Cause for Concern?

In Networked Families, the Oct 2008 report about families and their use of technology, the authors report that those families with more technology devices in their households are less likely to eat together as a family on a daily basis.

Specifically, they report that 53% of multiple cell phone owners (2+) eat together daily with family members while 66% of families with only 1 or fewer cell phones. Likewise, families which own multiple computers (2+) are less likely to eat together (51%) than families that own only 1 or fewer computers (61%).

Additionally, adults in families which own more technology (cell phones and computers) also report less satisfaction in time spent with family members. It is unlikely that the technology itself is making families spend fewer meals together and be less satisfied, but these findings do remind us that stressful, complicated lives in which technologies dissolve boundaries between work, social networks, and entertainment and so forth may diminish our interpersonal time together.

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