Family

How Modern Technology Changed Our Families

In the past decade, family life has changed a lot. How families communicate and consume entertainment has seen tremendous innovation.

Communication

Let’s go back to the early nineties and early 2000s. Families were still using landline phones for most of their communication. Email was just starting to becoming popular, and the name Google was just beginning to appear on lips worldwide. There are a lot of little differences between now and then that make the picture as a whole feel strange to us now.

For example, let’s say it’s six in the evening. Dad and the kids are at home, trying to decide what to make for dinner. The home phone rings: it’s mom! She’s calling from the office to say she’s going to be home a bit late as she still has some leftover tasks at work. These days, mom would probably have sent dad a text instead. Even better, she’d probably be able to do her extra work from home, thanks to cloud-based business.

Now let’s say mom goes away on a business trip. She can only find time to call once a day. That’s fine; the long-distance phone bills are huge anyway! This is strange to us now. Instant messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype have closed this gap with provided free communication.

Entertainment

We used to sit around one television and all watch the same thing. I remember having to watch Australian soap operas and vet documentaries because that’s what my mother wanted to watch.

Of course, this is largely a thing of the past. People now have smartphones, tablets, and computers and can watch whatever they like through those. An entire family can now be sitting in the same room and watching entirely different things. Many TV companies are aware of this and are taking advantage. Sky Plus, for example, has evolved into a TV package that allows you to use its services across several devices are once. (If you don’t already have it, I’m willing to bet you’re asking yourself “How do I order Sky Plus?”!)

Safety

Many will argue that family safety has been compromised by modern technology. It’s true that the Internet might be too wide a resource for children to have unlimited access to safely. The anonymous chat rooms that were becoming infamous in the early 2000s are still around and are still a risk. But there are so many measures parents can take these days to ensure their children’s online safety. Parental controls and close monitoring can ensure that children only have a fun and educational time on the Internet.

If we want to look at technology and family safety, then we can’t ignore the rise of wearable technology. People love to have technology they can wear these days. From fitness tracks on their wrists to virtual reality helmets on their heads, people seem to be happy attempting to look like robots. This can work to a parent’s advantage. Wearable GPS tracking devices are available so you can keep track of your child’s location online.

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