Technological culture and family relations

The impact of technological culture in the contemporary world is more noticeable in families. Technology has somewhat blurred lines between children and parents in modern families. In addition, technology has contributed to widening the divide between the roles of the children and those of their parents with the traditional ones. Over the past few years for instance, the relationship between children and parents have deteriorated with increase in the use of technology. The divide has escalated due to increased use of technology in our homes. First, parents are not available to communicate with their children as they are all into social networking sites texting and tweeting. In other words, family time is greatly affected by technology when used for social reasons hence adversely hurting family communications. Interestingly, children whose parents are more involved in texting and social media and spend considerable time on social networking sites are likely to feel less supported by their parents. Here is how technology affects our lives during the last years.

On “The Colbert Report”, MIT professor Sherry Turkle tells Stephen Colbert that “we need to put technology in its place.” She also reports that within the family unit, there are instances where couples need to give each other full attention like for instance, when one requests salt to be passed to him/her. Parents are more into social media and technology that they forget about their children and family in general. I agree with Professor Sherry on this issue regarding technology eroding our family ties and cohesiveness in the modern society and that we need to limit its usage. What professor Sherry is trying to air out is the fact that our families are adversely affected by technology because we do not know time and how to use the technology. Children also feel they are not getting parent’s full attention.

Away from home, people are into social media and reading emails on their phones during corporate meetings at their workplaces. They eventually end up losing it all and not getting the main discussion points. Additionally, children in school are becoming more and more involved in social media networking sites such as Facebook while in class. This just shows how we are forgetting our roles in daily life activities and we are slowly replacing them with technology. This is congruent with what Pempek, Yermolayeva, and Calvert report, children spend seven hours a day which amounts to fifty hours a week. The authors further affirm that the number of hours used in social media sites by the students impacts their school results negatively. I strongly agree with Professor Sherry on this issue that technology is negatively affecting the manner in which we carrying out our activities at our homes, work stations, and schools.

On the other hand, I agree with Professor Sherry that technology can improve the cohesiveness of a family thereby increasing motivation among members. Professor Sherry records that her daughter sent her a message giving her motivation before The Colbert Show starts. She is so passionate about the message from her daughter that she feels as if she was hugged. A whole host of brand-new ways to bring happier relationships among family members has been offered by digital technology. When technology is used rightfully, it brings a whole lot of happiness in the family hence increasing family ties. According to Lee and Chae, family ties between children and parents have been enriched by technology. Indeed, technology creates and encourages stronger emotional connection within the family especially when distance separates the members. In this case, technology plays a major role in sustaining relationships among family members. Conclusively, family ties can be improved or hurt by technology depending on how we use this new development especially the social networking sites.

Does technology really affect family relationships? Take a look at some decades ago where a husband would be watching a television downstairs while the wife is upstairs reading a book and the couples in the modern society seated on the same couch in the same room each holding an iPad. Technology, in this case, has brought the couples together by reducing the distance separating them.

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