In today’s constantly connected life, families are learning to use technology to get closer and remain active. Research released jointly by Yahoo and OMD, “It’s a Family Affair: the Media Evolution of Global Families In a Digital Age” looks into how family life is enhanced by today’s technology.
Multitasking aided by technology extends most people’s day by several hours. The average day now amounts to 43 hours’ worth of activities. In an early Yahoo study that looked at women, an average day equaled 38 hours of activity. Activities include sleeping; working; commuting; and technology and media-based activities, such as e-mailing; using an MP3 player; text messaging; and watching TV.
“As these families are dealing with 44-hour days, they’re striving for equilibrium,” said Theresa LaMontagne, director of media and ad sales research at Yahoo. “They’re spending more time with media than ever before and balancing time with screen time more than ever before.”
Despite the overlapping activities, 72 percent of families with children eat dinner together each day. Nine out of 10 families with children enjoy family time.
Not all time spent with and communicating with families is strictly offline. Seventy percent of survey respondents say technology helps families stay in better touch. Mobile phones are a means of communication for 29 percent of families, and instant messaging for 25 percent. These emerging technologies bring children to the forefront as decision makers within the family unit.
“This rise of a more democratic family means more even decision making,” said LaMontagne. “Children have greater interest and input. Now we’re seeing in ‘Family 2.0,’ anyone can be making these product decisions on behalf of the family.”
The study was conducted by polling over 4,500 online families globally.
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