Thursday, June 16th, 2011
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.