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Community Matters, Science 

Family Connectedness in a Technical World

Technology is facilitating families' quality time together.

The 2008 Pew report, "Networked Families," suggests that the debate over technology as isolator versus technology as connector is winding down. The study found that even when a family owns multiple computers or televisions they share screen time instead of heading off into separate rooms. More parents claim that their family today is as close, if not closer, than their families growing up as a result of technology.

Today's parents are tech-involved. The way parents use technology increasingly mirrors the way their children use it--from playing video games, to social networking, to downloading music and videos. In another Pew report it was found that 86% of teens play video games and 34% of them say their parents play games with them. 88% say their parents know which games they play.

Technology is affecting family life. Families will continue to increase their tech savviness, pushing the boundaries of interactivity.

Here are some ideas on how you can use technology to bring your family together:

  • Go hi-tech for family movie night. Plug your laptop into your TV for a night of YouTube viewing on a big screen.
  • Take family game night to the next level. Challenge your kids to Wii Olympics or a tournament of Guitar Hero.
  • Have the family create a digital mix tape. Create and download a playlist of songs everyone likes. Play it in the car or while doing family chores and everyone will be happy.
  • Start a new tech tradition. Instead of watching "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" on TV, watch one of the new animated Peanuts webisodes on your computer.

Want more information? The Library offers classes on a variety of topics, from social networking to working with digital photos to learning email or Internet basics.

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