The Effect of Technology on Family Life In the last twenty years technological advancements have changed the way we work, live and communicate. According to English-Lueck and Molitor, technology has had a mixed effect on the balance of family life, technology has either improved the balance of a family or it can restrict the way a family operates. English-Lueck believes that technology has improved the way a family can communicate. There is no need for written schedules. Families can now integrate their family and work obligations on one calendar to view on their computer or phone.
English-Lueck also pointed out that cell phones are helpful to the working parent to easily keep in contact with their children. Working parents can call to ensure their children have arrived home from school. Many families use email to stay in constant contact with each other, even though they may live many miles apart. Although, this seems to aide in family closeness, English-Lueck has pointed out that it has also caused distress in the “aging mother” (page 4). Because of this contact within her family, the aging mother has found her role as the center of the family eroded, since her children no longer need to communicate through her.
English-Lueck also states that that the concept of bringing work home with us has changed. It has become more difficult for us to ‘switch off’ after work. People tend to bring work home with them, either by littering their homes with work related magazines or by thinking about work during other activities. At times, a familys’ together time is saturated by using technology, phones, televisions and etc. Molitor agrees that technology has affected the way a family communicates. Families are increasingly attempting to stay in contact at all times. Molitor shows how even newborns are introduced to technology.
Parents rely on two way radio transmitters (baby monitors) for their sleeping babies. Adults and teens are never forgetting to leave home without their phones as it seems to be the best way to be in constant contact with each other. Technology has affected my family life in positive and negative ways. My family thrives on the ease of scheduling family and work events on a single calendar. The use of the computer has allowed us to have more control of financial management through online banking, as well as filing for our income taxes through the IRS.
However, with constant access to communication it is difficult to ‘switch off’ after work. Sometimes we find ourselves, checking email, answering voicemails, sending documents, or just thinking about what is required at work the next day. It is this instant access of communication that frequently invades family life. New technology can clearly help us work faster and more efficiently and it promotes flexible remote working environments, however, that can also mean that we cannot ever really get away from technology or ‘switch off’.
English-Lueck and Molitor both agree that technology advancements have been made and that in some instances technology can enhance the family and in other instances technology may become a hindrance. References: Engllish-Lueck, J. A (1998 June 18). Technology and Social Change: The Effects on Family and Community. COSSA Congressional Seminar Molitor, G. T. T (2003, January). Communication technologies that will change our lives. USA Today.