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Cell Phones and Instant Messaging Strengthen Family Bonds Pew Study

Date: 10/21/2008 3:21:28 PM

Modern communications technology, particularly cell phones and instant messaging, are helping families remain close and in contact, according to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Researchers found that 70% of couples (where both partners had a cell phone) would call each other every day. 50% of internet users with children at home, meanwhile, go online to chat with a member of their household a couple of times a week.

Overall, 47% of the 2,252 people who responded to this survey said that mobile and internet technology had increased their communication with their family, while 25% said their family today is closer than when they were growing up.

The negative effects of technology were minimal, meanwhile, with 90% of respondents insisting that their internet usage had no effect whatsoever on time spent with family members.

“There had been some fears that the Internet had been taking people away from each other,” said University of Toronto sociology professor, Barry Wellman, who co-authored the Pew report. “We found just the opposite.”

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