Instant Messaging Mom And Dad

from the how-do-you-stay-in-touch dept

My parents live more than 3,000 miles away from where I live, yet I’m in constant contact with them thanks to instant messaging software, which they started using nearly six years ago. It’s amazing how much closer it’s allowed us to remain as a family, despite the physical distance (though, my father has the somewhat disconcerting habit of waking up and logging in to the computer before I’ve gone to sleep the night before and starting up a conversation). It appears we’re not the only family to bridge distance with such a solution. The NY Times is reporting that it’s increasingly common for family members to stay in touch via instant messaging – even if they live in the same house. In some cases, it’s made normally difficult parent-child communications easier, since many people are more comfortable expressing themselves through the written/typed word than the spoken word. Also, it gives a “built-in” pause in communication that often helps to stop people from saying something they’ll regret, while also hiding any emotional facial response that could shut off conversation. So while some parents are complaining that they can’t get their kids offline, maybe they just need to log in on their own computer and start chatting with them.

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