The Difference Between Face Time and Family Time

Although many parents are able to spend more physical face time with their children today, particularly fathers, this does not necessarily mean that they are providing the valuable face time, empathy, and bonding that children crave and require.

The rise of popularity and accessibility of technology has allowed more parents to get work done at home using laptops, cell phones, and mobile email. However, this increased ‘face time’ that parents are spending with their child does not, in fact, mean that there is more quality time being spent between children and parents.

The technology that is used creates a blurring gap between the line of personal life and work life, distracting parents from the valuable family time that their children crave. So, despite the fact that parents may very well be spending more time than ever with their children, they don’t always capture exactly what’s going on and happening between them.

Many modern families may not realize how this divided attention plays out with kids. However, a Michigan State University sociologist says, “If you’re not connecting with mom and dad (even though you’re in the house with them), what difference does it make?”

This information raises important questions regarding what will happen to our valuable family time and bonding amidst an era of growing digital distractions. Arranged marriages online? Family dinners on skype? Having most all human contact through Facebook? Permanent effects on the family are obviously not out, seeing as how the phenomenon of social media is somewhat recent, but it can be easily deduced that face to face, meaningful, human interaction is easily and hands down the most cherished. We don’t remember the great email our dads sent us, we remember the great hug they gave us after they got up early, on a Saturday, to watch our soccer game.

– Source:  USA Today, 04/15/10.

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