Study Shows that Mobile Devices have actually increased Family Time

This sounds out of place in a world that seems to have more and more people spending more time on their mobile devices than with family members. Although this is what most people make of mobile devices, data gotten from a research conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick show that the increase in usage of mobile devices has only led to more time spent at home with family members.

But even when we may stay together, are we able to give complete attention when it is needed?

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Couple using mobile device


Let us look at the stats
This research was conducted in the UK and it involved the observation of 2,500 children, ages 8 to 16, and their parents.

Starting from 2000 (when the huge increase in the use of home internet and mobile devices started), parents and children spent 347 minutes per day in the same location. Almost 27 percent of that time was spent with family while using a mobile device but only 23 percent of the time saw them engaging in a shared activity such as eating together or watching TV.

Then in 2015, families spent 379 minutes together. About 40 percent of that time was spent with family while using a mobile device and 22 percent was spent engaging in a shared activity with other family members.

So starting from 2000, about 80 percent of family time involved engagement in a shared activity with other family members.  But in 2015, the percentage of time spent, which saw family members engaged in a shared activity dropped from 80 to 55 percent.

Meanwhile, time spent with family increased from 27 percent to 40 percent. This study correctly shows that mobile devices may increase the amount of time spent with family but will also cause a huge decrease in the amount of time shared without distractions from mobile devices.

Impact on Relationships
It gets worse when there is some form of addiction involved. So many relationships today are struggling to survive because the quality of time spent with other members of the family has reduced. When mobile phones first became famous, it was only children who got addicted to it. The Research also shows that children of ages 14 to 16 spent lesser time on shared activities.

Related: Restrictions On Usage Of Technology Can Undermine Academic Achievement

But today, even parents are getting addicted to mobile devices. They start early in the morning and just can’t find a way out of it. This means that issues take longer to be resolved because everyone – husband, wife, and children – has a second partner: an electronic device.

Couple in the kitchen without mobile device
Putting mobile devices and TV aside is never a bad idea

And husbands and wives are getting even more frustrated with the lack of quality time to share feelings and learn more about each other through shared activities and loving interactions without the distractions from mobile devices.

We built electronic devices to help us get better. But studies like this show just how we can destroy ourselves if we don’t know when to catch a break and make family time worthwhile.

Source: University of Warwick

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