The Positive and Negative Impacts of Technology on Family Life
“Is technology tearing apart family life? Text messaging, social networking, and online video are changing the way parents and children see the world—and each other. ” There are many technologies in today’s world that are widely used not just as a want, but as a necessity of life.
This term paper will focus on relationship between family life and computer technologies, which have become the most widely used technology in the world due to its variety of functions including SNS, mailing, online face-to-face video chatting, and assignment completing tools.
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Computer technologies have both positive and negative effects on family life. As more and more families are beginning to own their own computers (computer internet users in North America reached to about “78. 3 %”), the effects of technologies on family life is becoming more easily identifiable. This term paper will come across both the benefit and negative effects of using technologies on family life. There are the negative effects which include the isolation of family members, and parents bringing their work home.
On the other hand, linking relatives together is one positive effect that technologies have on family life, and being instantly updated on other family members’ status is also a huge benefit. Overall, the benefits of using technologies outweigh the negative effects. One negative effect of computers on family life is less face-to-face contact between family members. In most families, each family member has their own computers or smart phones that are kept in their own rooms.
Nowadays, the functions of computers and smart phones are not just limited to internet surfing, and assignment tools. They are also widely used for social networking services (SNS), such as; Facebook, Skype, and Twitter just to name a few. As a result of the increasing time consumption of using the functions on computers, family members are now more isolated from each other and cannot talk to each other face to face as often as before when technologies were not as important in day to day living. Even when there is only one computer per family, there is an interruption with family life.
If one person is using the computer, then other family members do not want to just wait while the computer is being used, so they will go to a different room and each person will end up using the computers at their own leisure. The use of computer games is another thing that has reduced human contact between family members. Before computers were used in the home, if someone wanted to play a game, they usually had to find at least one other family member to play a board game or card game with them. That forced families to spend more time talking to each other.
Now if someone wants to play a game that requires more than one person, they can just go on the computer and either play online against another person, or they can play against the computer. Playing games on the computer makes it easier to be isolated from physical contact with other family members. Now that you don’t have to ask person in your family to play a game, most families don’t spend as much time talking to each other and learning about each other. Another negative cause that computers have on family life is that many people now bring their work home with them instead of leaving it at work the way they used to.
People’s work is now invading the privacy of their home. People find that it is easier and more convenient to work at home, so they bring their work home allowing it to invade their home. When people bring home their work, it separates families by causing parents to spend more time at home working, and less time with their family causing parents to not know as much about what is going on in their children’s lives. Bringing work home separates families, making them not as close knit as they would be if they spent more time together talking.
Computer technologies have not just had negative effects on families; they have also had some positive ones. The use of Social Networking Service (SNS) through computer is one of the positive effects that technologies have had on families. With the use of computer functions such as; e-mail, Messengers, Twitter, and Skype, families can take care of things that they would otherwise have to leave the home to take care of. Using SNS also allow families to communicate with other family members who might not live close by.
For example, I Skype (free online webcam chatting) my father in Korea at least twice a week. Without the use of SNS I wouldn’t be able to communicate with him nearly as much because phone bills would be too expensive for me to afford. So, because of SNS I am able to remain close to my father even though he is in Korea, and I am in Canada. A second positive effect that technologies have had on families is the use of instant texting service. This allows families to talk to each other and have a fairly normal conversation with each other even though they might not be in the vicinity.
I personally use instant text messaging services to talk to my parents, my sister, and my relatives regularly because it keeps them updated on what is happening with me on a daily basis. While I am at school, I am still able to stay in touch with everyone back home without having to call each one of them separately. For many people who are away at school, instant texting services allow them to stay in touch with friends and family even though they are not at home. A third positive effect that technologies have had on families is computer web pages (Facebook).
Web pages allow families to post pictures of themselves and other family members so that everyone in the family can go to the web page and view the pictures. My sister has a web page that explains things about her, and it has pictures of her and friends. One of my other uncles who lives in Korea also has his own web page. On his web page, he has pictures of his baby daughter. By going to my uncle’s web page, I have been able to see pictures of my baby cousin as she has grown and changed. Many other families have web pages similar to my families that they use to watch their families change even though they are not in the same country.
In conclusion, the negative effects of using technologies posed can essentially be overcome by use of SNS technology through computer or phone. When there is lack of human contact between the family members, then Skype can be used to perform online face-to-face chatting. The use of technologies also proved to be more efficient when each family member want to be updated on each others’ status. Without the use of technology, instant messaging system would not be possible, so the relatives or family members would not be able to interact with each other as easily.
APA 6th edition reference
- Miniwatts Marketing Group (MARCH 31, 2011). WORLD INTERNET USAGE AND POPULATION STATISTICS. Retrieved from http://www. internetworldstats. com/stats. htm
- Chris Barylick (June 21, 2001). Technology and Social Isolation. Retrieved from http://www. irchelp. org/irchelp/misc/tech. html
- Gary Small, M. D. (June 19, 2009). Is Technology Fracturing Your Family. Retrieved from http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/brain-bootcamp/200906/is-technology-fracturing-your-family.