Study: Tech Helps Bring Families Closer

Fears unfounded that the Internet is the 21st-century boob tube.

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I have a neighbor who fretted about losing touch with her oldest daughter when she went off to college. Until Mom discovered texting. All's well—I think Mom sometimes feels more connected than when the teen was still at home.

That would be no surprise to analysts at the Pew Internet and American Family Life. They released a study that shows tech-savvy American households feel more connected than they did before the Internet.

As Elinor Mills says in her Digital Media blog: "The Internet is no 21st Century boob tube."

One of the study's researchers put it this way about connected loved ones: "They don't just withdraw from the family to their own computer for private screen time. They pretty regularly say, 'Hey—look at this!' to others in the household."

It's no surprise to bloggers like Jason Lee Miller at WebProNews:

More often than not, my wife pings me via Gmail chat requesting I stop by the store to pick something up; the teenager disappears to his room for hours at a time but eventually plops down at the home office computer to share his latest online discovery (usually a game or some monster he's created). TV? Well, "watching" is a flexible word. Let's just say the set is usually on.

No surprise to me, either, but a relief to see it in a credible study.