How is technology positively impacting the wellbeing of families?

In 1993, the United Nations introduced the International Day of Families (15th May) to promote the importance of a well-balanced and healthy family relationship. This year the event focuses on the impacts of new technologies on the well-being of families. [1]

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According to research by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and WesternSydney University, with support from Google Australia, Australian families embrace the digital world and use it to improve their families' relationships.



"People are using the internet to improve their families' wellbeing, for information on parenting, for social and political knowledge and activism, and to follow cultural and artistic interests," Associate Professor Amanda Third, from Western Sydney University and Research Program Leader at the Young and Well CRC. [2]


In a paper by Ken Knight and Cathryn Hunter, one of their key messages is most Australians have access to the Internet and use mobile devices to connect from anywhere, at any time. Research suggests that even isolated and marginalised groups are using technology in their everyday lives. [3]


Over the years, technology has transformed our lives. Intelligent devices like our phone is a fantastic tool as it shows helpful information at our fingertips. Computers are faster, more portable and have better performance than before. Technology has made our lives easier, faster, and better.


Here are three ways how modern technologies strengthen family support and improve family relationship


1. Video technologies strengthen connections


With the spread of COVID-19, many people are gradually becoming used to video technologies to keep in touch with family and friends. It helps us maintain and develop healthy, supportive relationships.


In a guide by Raising Children [4], they cited few examples of how you and your family stay in touch with friends and extended family:

  • Have a virtual lunchtime or playdate with friends

  • Set up a schedule for phone calls or video chats with extended family members who don’t live in your house.

  • Help your young children set up a group chat using an app so your child can talk to friends and share funny articles or videos.

  • Celebrate birthdays and other achievements by sending video messages.

  • Get some postcards, writing paper and stamps, so your child can stay connected the old-fashioned way.



2. Technology is a tool for learning


With an immense amount of data and online learning platforms, many families can learn new things together, which leads to connections through collective learning.


According to the study by The Royal Australians and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, "Education can be enhanced in a number of ways through various media interfaces. For example, students can engage in self-directed learning, collaborate on group projects or exchange ideas about homework. There is evidence that engagement with digital delivery of material allows children and young people to enhance and consolidate learning on an almost inexhaustible range of topics. This access to technology provides young people with essential skills for future roles in adulthood." [5]



3. By staying connected, it can help promote our sense of belongingness.


Modern technologies like social networking sites provide a space for us to express our identity. Sites like Facebooks, Twitter or Instagram are flexible and can be customised to our preference. Our feed shows us our circle, family, friends and people we follow.


In a research study entitled: "The benefits of social networking services," it was evident that the strong sense of community and belonging fostered by social networking sites have the potential to promote resilience, which helps young people to adapt to change and stressful events successfully. [6]


Modern technology is now an integral part of our life. There are a lot of different viewpoints on the positive and negative impacts technology brings to relationships. Managing the use of technology, especially with our younger generation, is essential. Video calling has undoubtedly made working together easier during the past year, feeling more. It has helped people to feel connected and supported while working from home and closer to friends and family while isolated, supporting their mental wellbeing


How about you? How do you use modern technology to strengthen family support and improve family relationship? Feel free to share your answer in the comment section below.


If you want to know more about this or discuss a particular issue you are facing, call us today to have a private and confidential conversation on 1300 114 818 or email us at info@proactiveaction.co. We look forward to talking to you soon.



Further Readings:

  1. https://www.un.org/development/desa/family/2021/03/19/2021-international-day-of-families-families-and-new-technologies/

  2. https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/newscentre/news_centre/story_archive/2016/australian_families_embrace_technology_to_improve_wellbeing_and_relationships

  3. https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/using-technology-service-delivery-families-children-and-young-people

  4. https://raisingchildren.net.au/guides/coronavirus-covid-19-guide/coronavirus-physical-distancing-and-family-wellbeing

  5. https://www.ranzcp.org/news-policy/policy-and-advocacy/position-statements/media-digital-technology-impact-on-children

  6. https://www.uws.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/476337/The-Benefits-of-Social-Networking-Services.pdf

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