Does social media bring families together or tear them apart?

Because when families disconnect from the internet, they connect.

As it can be observed in this video Dolmio has invented a Pepper Hacker- a tool that shuts down Wi-Fi signal and TV to help bring families together. Now stop for a second and think- how addicted to technology have we become if we can’t spare an hour to have dinner with our family? And is browsing the Internet more important than spending time with the people you love? Probably not.

I will repeat something that I’ve written previously in the blog- Internet has conquered our daily life. The first thing we do when we wake up is not to brush our teeth but to check our cell phone, we do it when we eat our breakfast or lunch, as well as while we are having dinner. We have forgotten how to enjoy family time and this time I’m not only talking about teenagers, but parents too. “Children complain that they don’t have their parents full attention” comments Sherry Turkle. Adults are always busy with writing e-mails or reading the news that sometimes they end up ignoring their own children. I believe this video illustrates my point flawlessly.

On the other hand, social media can be useful for parent because it allows them to follow their kids and know exactly what they are doing. Of course, there are privacy settings that can authorize only certain people to see posts or photos but not all teenagers are aware of that. There are hundreds of stories for parties that have been shut down before they have even begun, just because a parent saw his child’s updated status saying: “my parents are on a vacation. party 2night at my place”. Facebook is a powerful controlling tool, indeed. Not only mom and dad can reveal their kid’s location but also they can understand who is accompanying him, what is the plan for the night and other information that they may not need to receive. Of course, social media and apps like Skype and Viber don’t have only disadvantages. They are a great way for parents to interface with children who study in a different city or country. Children can keep them informed all the time, send them videos , pictures and make their parents miss them less.

To summarise, technology is something amazing that is developing each day. It gives us thousands of opportunities to share and communicate and it is up to us to use it wisely. Will social media unite a family or draw it apart depends on its members. Young people need to remember to call their parents often when they are away, but to put down the phone and enjoy the time they spend together. The same goes for adults, those texts and e-mails can wait.