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How PC & Internet is affecting families

Feb 25, 1998 05:09 AM
by M K Ramadoss

              Around the world, technology is reformatting family life.
              According to a new FamilyPC reader survey, 83% of
              families polled were online in 1997 -- up from 50% the
              previous year. The majority (59%) connect to the Web
              at 28.8 K. They log on roughly 35 times a month and
              spend an average of 16 hours online per week.

              You have probably heard about some of the beneficial
              results. Increased connectedness, for instance. Email
              has replaced traditional letter-writing and expensive
              long-distance telephone calls for many families. The
              Washington Post reports 77% of the 9 million students
              in college use email regularly. FIND/SVP research
              shows 36% of parents believe using technology will
              increase employment prospects for their children. And
              the kill-your-television crowd will be heartened that 57%
              of families surveyed by FamilyPC say Internet use has
              reduced TV viewing.

              But what about the downside? According to a new
              study by Ekos Research, 49% of Canadians complain
              computers have negatively impacted family life. Some
              of the findings from the FamilyPC Families on the
              Internet Index (click for full story) may help explain

                   13% of families say Internet use has reduced
                   reading books
                   68% were concerned with kids' access to
                   pornography on the Web
                   67% worry about their kids being marketed to

              Late last year, the number of American households
              with PCs finally surpassed the number of households
              without. Click for full story. The number of Internet
              users continues to rise. And the impact of technology
              on families is going to increase exponentially. For
              better (Hey! Kids may finally write their grandmother,
              via email!). And for worse (kids may forget how to write
              any other way).

              How has technology impacted your family life? In good
              ways? Or bad? Use the TalkBack button at the bottom
              of this page to tell me what you think. I'll post some of
              your best responses beneath this column.

      Excerpt from ZD net article.

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