Technology impact on family
In the 1950’s, family dinner was a tradition that most families practiced everyday no matter how busy they were. Today, it’s rare to find a family that has family dinner every night. Family dinner is important to me, but it isn’t as important to my siblings. I have four sisters and one brother all in the range of thirteen through twenty years old. Out of the five, I am the only one (besides my mother) that makes an attempt to sit down and have dinner. Every night, after my mom makes everyone’s plate, my four siblings each goes downstairs at separate times to get their plates. Due to technology, it is impossible for my family to communicate on the same level and to have dinner together. How does technology have an impact on the communication within a family, and how are some technologies differing from the technology in the 1959’s?
In the 1950’s, almost every household owned one television, and it was located in the main room of the house. According to Emily Comier, “Leave it to Beaver was a popular show that came on in the 1950’s.” From that, I’m assuming that most families sat down together to watch that show since there was only one television in the house. Today, “40 percent of households own three or more TV’s” (TV-Turnoff). Since there is a television in almost every room in my house, my family doesn’t watch television together.
My sisters eat their dinner in their rooms just so they can watch TV in their room. They each have their individual show that they like to watch everyday. However, all of their shows come on at different times. My youngest sister likes to watch That’s So Raven which comes on at seven o clock every night. My twin sister likes to watch Making the Band which comes on at nine o clock. Due the fact that my oldest sister works late, she misses out on the soap operas during the day. So when she get home, she re-heats her plate (that my mother put aside) and goes in her room to watch Soap Net which comes on at eleven o clock every night.
Most men are sports fans, especially my brother. He watches sports everyday. There is a variety of football, baseball, or basketball games that come on television different times of the day, but all the “good” ones come on mainly at night. Instead of eating at the dinner table, (like my sisters) he eats in his room. Kelvin Ake stated that, “sitting down at the dinner table doesn’t happen because I have to watch that basketball game”. My brother can’t help the fact that he’s addicted to sports; it’s a man’s thing! Like most men, my brother gets really excited when games like the NBA finals or the NFL Superbowl are on television. Around that time, my mother would have to bring his food to him because he’s afraid that he’ll miss out on a good play. Sports make it less possible for a family to have dinner together. I don’t understand how a male can watch sports all day. However, I understand how a female can talk on her phone all day.
Emily Cormier stated that “where she lived as a child, there was a community line in which three homes shared a phone line, and when the phone rang three people from each home would answer the phone to see if the call was for a person that lived in their house.” That causes me to believe that people wouldn’t talk on the phone for a long period of time because they wouldn’t want to keep the line tied. In other words, someone wouldn’t be able to complete their phone call because the line will be busy. Moreover, it may cause an altercation in which the families tried to avoid.
Today, every home has an individual phone line. Some homes have more than one phone line. For an example, there are two phone lines in my house because my sisters and I would always fight and argue over who was going to use it and the time that we each had to use it. To resolve the problem, along with adding another line, my mother assigned each of us to one of the two phone line. One phone is located in the kitchen, and the other is located in my mother’s bed room. My mom placed the phone in those particular places because she assumed that someone would be in one of those two areas, and that it will give her time to talk to one of us. Unfortunately, her assumption was wrong. The phone that’s located in the kitchen seems to ring every night (in which the calls are for my sister) during our dinner time, and instead of sitting down to have dinner with my mother and me, my sister talks on phone the whole time. One night, my mom and I tried to start a conversation with her and she totally ignored us. However, she responded to everything that her friend was saying on the other line. She is very disrespectful! However, I have to admit that I can also be disrespectful towards my mother when I’m on my cell phone. For some reason, I tend to tone people out if they’re talking to me while I’m talking to someone else on my cell phone.
My cell phone is a major part of my life. In fact, cell phones play a major part in almost everyone’s lives. Some people use their cell phones to make long distance calls, or just for personal use. “There are now more than 200 million cell phone subscribers, an average of more than one per household (Consumer Reports).” I tend to use my cell phone more than I use my house phone because I have more privacy. Sometimes, when I’m at the dinner table with my mom, she gets mad at me because I excuse myself from the table to talk on my cell phone. Family dinner is important to me, but my cell phone and my computer is also as important as my family dinner.
MySpace and facebook are both networking sites in which most teenagers have a personal profile on both websites. I have a MySpace and face book profile, in which I feel the need to check everyday to see if I received mail from my many friends that I met from the websites. My friends and I are addicted. I check my mail every night after dinner. Sometimes, I rush to eat my food just so that I can check my mail. Those networking websites are the only way that we can communicate with one another. Besides my cell and house phone, networking is the only way that I can keep in touch with them.
In conclusion, technology such as: televisions, hose phones, cell phones, and computers have a huge impact on the communication within my family. Since, we’re able to entertain ourselves there is no communication within my family. Technology makes it impossible for my family members to stay at the table and have family dinner. Today, family dinner is the complete opposite of what it uses to be like in the 1950’s.