U of T Study Shows Technology Playing Key Role in Family Life, Youth Watching Less TV

A survey released today by the University of Toronto shows that nuclear families are among the most common  users of communication technology such as mobile phones and the Internet. 89% of these married-with-children households own multiple cell phones and 66% have broadband internet.

“Some analysts have worried that new technologies hurt family togetherness, but we see that technology allows for new kinds of connectedness built around cell phones and the internet,” noted Tracy Kennedy, author the report. “Family members touch base with each frequently with their cell phones and they use those phones to coordinate family life on the fly during their busy lives.”

As a teenager, my parents offerred to split the cost of a cell phone with me; they were pleased to be able to keep tabs on me at any place or time. The study says that 42% of parents use a cell phone to contact their children on a daily basis, 70% of couples do the same.

Another finding of the report is that 52% of these families say they use the internet with another person at least a few times a week. This says that Internet usage need not be thought of as an anti-social activity. Indeed, the study goes on to say that Internet users socialize just as frequently as non-users.

Though 74% of adults still watch the god box…er, television almost every day, the younger generation is cutting back. Only 58% of 18-29 year olds said they watched TV almost every day, and 29% say they watch less TV because of the Internet.