Family Time, The Internet And Television

from the wait,-that's-not-what-it-says... dept

The CS Monitor has an article talking about a recent study that suggests internet usage is cutting into spending time with families. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if that’s true, but I’m having trouble understanding why the article focuses on the internet as being the issue, when it seems to say that it’s an even bigger issue with television:

The center, which has been conducting surveys on Americans and the Internet since 2000, found that 44 percent of Americans said they were sometimes or often ignored by family members who spent too much time using the Internet, while 48 percent said they were ignored by family members who spent too much time watching TV.

Doesn’t that suggest television is a bigger issue? So why is the headline and the article focused on the internet? At least if people are online, other family members can also get online and interact. And, no, I’m not saying that’s an acceptable substitute for face-to-face family time, but it should at least be recognized that it’s a different type of communication, rather than just some blackhole.

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Comments on “Family Time, The Internet And Television”

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Felix Pleşoianu (user link) says:

The same reason as always

Of course they blame the Internet. It’s fashionable to blame everything related to computers. Videogames? They cause violent behavior. (Even Mario; those poor turtles…) The Internet? “Nothing good has come out of it, period.” Computer programming? It teaches people critical thinking. And we don’t want that, do we?

Anonymous Coward says:

“Doesn’t that suggest television is a bigger issue? “

Not at all – considering that TV might have been the bigger issue many years ago, now the internet has come along and also become a big issue (1% in this type of survey would be a rounding error). If anything, TV time often use to be familty time, with everyone gathered around the idiot box to watch Ed Sullivan. The internet is a solitary pursuit, usually not including other family members for any length of time.

Sean (user link) says:


Mike, are you really asking why the article focuses on Internet instead of TV, even with TV at +4%? I’ll give you what I think – probably because the Internet is much newer in these people’s lives, as well as being a much different medium.

Yeah Mike, why does the study focus on the newer, different medium and compare it to the standard medium that was infringing on family-time? I wonder.

Your Mother says:

Family Time

Shouldn’t parents be to blame for lack of family time? Maybe if more of us had the will power, studies wouldn’t suggest that other things have weakened it so. In the end, there’s good in bad in everything we do and all of it cuts into “family time”. A man that takes too good care of his lawn, cuts in to his “family time”. How dare he?

The Cenobyte (profile) says:

TV is often family time

First off, TV is often family time. In my house we watch TV shows we like together and have a great time.

Second, the number of people that say they are ignored and the amount of time being ignored are not the same thing. We are missing important data about how much ignoring per person is going on here. If 48% of people are ignored for an hour a day for TV, it’s not nearly as huge as if 44% of people are ignored for 3 hours a day for the internet.

JackieHandunge (profile) says:

Family Life and Parenting Advice

Great Article, thanks, spending quality time with your children and teaching them family values is very important, check out this site –
Useful Information and Advice to help you improve your Family Life and information on Parenting, Online Activities for Kids and keeping your child safe on the Internet

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