Family dynamics have been challenging since the first teenage cavegirl rolled her eyes, telling her mom "ugh." Today's lingo is LMAO, TTYL, BFF, OMG, and L8R; and kids aren't the only ones doing it. Add Facebook, DS, Wii, iPad, and Twitter to the vocabulary, and the nuclear family is virtually unrecognizable, pun intended.
Like it or lump it, technology is in our world, and members of Generations Y and Z don't know life without it. According to 2011 Nielsen statistics, teenagers send and receive around 3,700 texts a month - that's about 125 a day!
Before your head stops spinning, assume that some of those 3,700 texts are to family members. Even the Evil Technology Giant has its benefits. To name just a few:
- Coordination of busy schedules: No more stranding a child at school or a parent at the airport. Text, phone or e-mail lets someone know plans have changed.
- Safety: In a crazy world, you want to know where your family is and that they have a way to reach in trouble.
- A "new connectedness": Texting has opened doors between parents and teens. Dr. Gene Beresin, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said texting gives teens "optimal distance" from parents, allowing for communication that wouldn't happen otherwise.
However, there's no doubt technology within family life has its conflicts. And the conflicts have only increased as the Internet and social media have joined distractions such as TV, the cell phone and the computer. Read on for five major negative effects and how you can manage these challenges. First up, hitting the books!