Negative Effects Of Technology On Family

1184 Words5 Pages
Too Much Technology is Bad for Family Interaction

For all seventeen years of my life, I have lived in a typical suburban town located in the midwest. I have friends who come from rich families and friends who come from poor families, but most of us come from somewhere in between. One thing we all have in common though is that by the time we were in middle school, we all had our own smartphones. Each one of us also has either a television, a computer or a tablet in our rooms; several of us have more than one of these devices. We are not an unusual or unique group of people. I would say that our experiences are typical, as our generation “has seen an unprecedented increase in the use of technology in everyday life” (Hertlein 374).
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Williams quotes a Manhattan parent who describes how his mother used to have to “call around to friends’ houses in the evening to find him” while he has no such trouble because his kids are all in his living room, interacting with friends through their devices. Also, with the majority of children now owning their own cell phones (Hertlein 374), parents are able to monitor and check in on their children in ways that they were never able to in the past. The problem with these arguments is that they mistake the quantity of communication with the quality. In the case of the Manhattan parent, his mother had to talk to him to know who his friends were, what their phone numbers were and where he was likely to be at night. He assumes his children are interacting with their friends while online and does not need to know much more about it. With cell phones, parents have expectations that teens will respond to them immediately and can become afraid when they do not receive quick responses. This fear can lead to repeated texting, which can “result in the teen feeling smothered, and consequently, responding to his or her parent in a curt fashion” (Hertlein 376). It is the quality of the interaction that is important, not the quantity. Technology has been bad for family communication. Family members are too busy playing with their phones, sending texts and watching television in their bedrooms to spend quality time together. Technology is not going away and parents and children will continue to have their own phones and devices. It is important for families to be aware of the negative impacts of technology so they can pay attention to how they use their devices and try to eliminate some of these
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