New Study: Technology Is Not So Bad for Families After All

Is your kid always on the phone, playing on the Wii, downloading music, or editing videos? Before you start unplugging your kids, read the new study from Ogilvy & Mather and Communispace. Their new study, “Tech Fast Forward: Plug in to see the brighter side of life,” examines the advantages of “Tech Fast Forward” Families. TFF Families tend to use more sophisticated technology than the average person (with children ages 3 to 12) and are seen as “in the know” and on the cutting edge of technology.

The research found that TFF Families had a more positive mindset and expressed less anxiety about the future. TFF parents are also more likely than parents in the general market to say their kids are on the right path. They believe their children are developing critical skills that will empower them to navigate— and even save—the world! Plus, for all their optimism and embracement of technology, TFF parents are the most protective of their kids, since they know the dangers of the tech world.

Interestingly, most of these TFF families are Asian, educated, influential, and affluent members of society. But don’t think they aren’t interacting with the real world; they’re also the most social in and outside the technological realm. Aside from using technology to communicate with others and make daily activities easier, technology is being used to make strides in the medical field, cure diseases, and create shortcuts for extensive procedures.

Not all parents are happy with the increase in technology. Amy, a 34-year-old mother of two kids, told researchers, “I really dislike that every minivan now seems to come standard with TVs in the back. Being in the car is a great time to talk with your kids. It’s one of the few times you have their undivided attention! So now I sound like an old crabby person, when in reality my girls are exposed to all sorts of media. …. I just want to make sure that they don’t grow up thinking that the interactions they have online or with the TV can take the place of the ones you have with real humans.” Still, though parents complain about the dissolution of real communication with texting, IMing, and lack of face-to-face contact, the study found that busy families are actually more in tune with each other when using technology.

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  1. by Rob O.

    On June 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Somehow these people are equating tech-savvy consumption with technology aptitude and that’s simply not true. Further, technology aptitude doesn’t necessarily equate to a better, more fulfilled, or more productive life.

    Where boredom fosters imagination & creativity in children, instantaneous, perpetual digital consumption hinders those. Unplug your kids while they still have the brief opportunity to be children. They’ll have the rest of their lives to be technologists and digital media consumers.

  2. [...] Technology is not so bad for families after all (Parents.com) [...]

  3. by April

    On June 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Actually, just because a family is technologically advanced doesn’t mean that the children aren’t imaginative and creative. Kids that sit in front of a device all day long is the product of lazy parenting. Every person in my home from 5+ have their own computer. We have cell phones, iPad, Wii, etc. However they don’t get to do these things often. We use most devices for rewards on a rainy day, long trips, or for educational games and other fun. However, they still go outside and play, get bruised, have kids over all the time, and lead perfectly healthy boy lives. They happen to spend bits of their other time on other things, and are proficient in using them. So it really depends on how you look at it. Owning and learning to use these things, and spending all your free time on them are totally different things!

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