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Do you think cell phone and Internet use has made families more tight-knit?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 21, 2008

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Photo of Tyler McCance

“I don’t think so. I think people who are always using their cell phone and the Internet are usually chatting with their friends and not their families. If anything I think it pushes them apart.”

Photo of Kristen Bushouse

“I think it probably brings them together in that it’s so much easier to get ahold of everyone, but I’m not sure if that necessarily makes them more close or tight-knit.”

Photo of Luke McDaneld

“I think over long distances maybe, but in general it’s sort of an empty communication. They don’t get a chance to really sit down and communicate with each other face to face.”

Photo of Laurie Wooding

“That’s probably not the case. Cell phones and Internet use make families more distant with each other. It’s so easy to get ahold of your friends and everyone else that people forget about keeping up with their family.”

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costello 9 years, 7 months ago

Why don't they ask someone who actually remembers what it was like BEFORE cell phones and the Internet? All these kids can do is speculate.

Boeing 9 years, 7 months ago

I think so. My parents live in LA, much of my family lives in Chicago, and yet I am able to keep in touch with them like I live next door. It's fantastic.

flux 9 years, 7 months ago

Well I'll just have to see how many Happy Thanksgivings and Merry Christmas wishes I get via text message insted of an actuall phone call this year. Getting e-cards insted of actually gettings a mailed card. So the answer is no.

beawolf 9 years, 7 months ago

I have family on each coast. We talk 2-3 times a week. We email each other 2-3 times a week and send pics often. 15 years ago this was impossible. The occasional letter and the infrequent phone call would be the only communication. That said, a family determines how "tight Knit" it is by their actions, regardless of the media.

samsnewplace 9 years, 7 months ago

if kids still live at home, it seems to take them away from family time.........if kids are away going to college, it help to keep everyone in touch. there are both sides and it does allow long-distance at an affordable rate and beats the heck out of a letter. I do think the family unit was tighter before electronics played such a vital role in our lives.

sunflower_sue 9 years, 7 months ago

R_I, where is the spousal unit? Tell her to turn on her cell. (She was probably tired of "listening" to you and turned it off.)As a parent of middle and high school age kiddies, I have to have "internet free" days where the computer is off limits. This is because, if they are allowed to use it, I would not "see" them. Luckily, they have crappy cell plans so they know to limit their use on that #2 choice of communication.

mom_of_three 9 years, 7 months ago

Yes. My cousin and I send email instead of snail mail, as we used to in the old days. My mom can reach me anytime, anywhere with her cell phone, so we can always chat or keep updated about anything. And there have been times when several relatives will IM chat together, which is fun, since we live in different parts of the country. I can email pictures of kids to relatives, and vice versa, so you don't have to wait very long to see pictures of the latest, cutest kid. I think my teenagers and I are close, as far as parents and kids go. And their phones allow them to tell me anything about their day any time they want, instead of waiting for me to get home from work.

Deja Coffin 9 years, 7 months ago

I know the internet helps me keep in touch with friends from high school but as far as my family all I get from them are a bunch of forwards and cute pictures. If puppy dogs and angel kisses mean you're tight knit then I guess so. As far as cell phones, they just make my family more accessible when I have to tell them something important like when gas is really cheap or when my kids say something really cute and I want to share it with someone instantly.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

Luke and Tyler took my answers. But I should admit that I hate talking on the phone.

sgtwolverine 9 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't this sort of go along with the "socializing on the internet" question? I still don't think socializing on the internet is really socializing, and I certainly don't think the abundance of communication devices has made families any closer. Luke got it right: it's an empty communication.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

Dolemite, mother@#$%er?! Sayit aint so!

rdunlap 9 years, 7 months ago

Not if using Freenet to communicate....most unreliable "service" I've ever used. Makes me want to smash something......

SarahONeill 9 years, 7 months ago

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