Technology Helping Families, Really?
- By Sam George
- Published 02/14/2009
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at email@example.com
Technology tools are helping families stay in touch with each other and improving relationships. This is the finding from the latest study on family by Pew Internet Research. See BBC report.
Mobile phones and the net are helping them maintain social ties, when modern lives are so time and energy starved. Traditionalist worried that new technologies are hurt family togetherness, but this study found that technology allows for new kinds of connectedness built around cell phones and the internet never possible before.
In the past people gathered around dinner table at the end of the day to eat, unwind and catch up with each other. Then came the television and quick-fix dinners. Family time was gobbling up microwaved meals and staring at the tube. It took away conversations. And now the hi tech tools have further driven a wedge between family members. It is taking away our togetherness. Meals are never eaten together or at the same time and place. Even when we are in the same house, we interact with each other by texting or over Internet!
The virutal relationship is a poor substitute for the real stuff. The contemporary reality of overloaded lives with little time for each other are destorying soul of our family life. I am glad for new connectedness and grateful for new hi-tech tools. I marvel at these miracle tools and what it can do for us. I use them extensively, but I also realize its limitation as well. Let’s not get carried away by such research.
Building strong family ties require skill, commitment and time. No tools or technology can do it for us.