Friday, January 21, 2011

Does Technology Have an Impact on Family Interactions?

There's certainly less face-to-face interaction between members of families. But if a family really wants to spend time together, the members that are really serious will spend time together. On the flip side, technology connects people. I'm away at college and I talk to my mom almost every day and email my family all the time. My brother lives in North Carolina (I'm in NY) and I can talk to him because of tech like phones and computers. Granted, he is a bit of a--cough cough--luddite; he rarely checks his email and he and his wife never turn on the one cell phone they have between them. Sort of in that vein, technology also has the power to hurt family relationships. I (as a child of the '90s) am more comfortable with any sort of technology than are, say, my grandparents, or even my mother. I will be the first to admit that while I'm trying to teach them something about the computer, or the digital camera, or their cell phones I can be a bit short with them, and they, in turn, get fed up with me. Consequently, we sometimes have to avoid some subjects of conversation, because we'll all get annoyed with each other. Or like with my brother, who I have to call and actually talk to (so old-fashioned!) on the phone, I would talk to him a lot more if he would just log into his email more than once a month (*grrr*). Though (and not thinking of my brother (whose aversion to technology is baffling to me)) perhaps this disconnect between me and my grandparents is just the normal distancing of generations. Since we don't have a control scenario, we'll probably never know. So, good or bad? C'mon, you know I loathe such subjective and arbitrary classifications...

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