End User internet

The technology / family life balance

An international study into how we interact with technology, led by the University of Cambridge, has found that a third of parents feel modern communications technology is disruptive to family life, and that one in three people have felt overwhelmed to the point of needing to escape from modern communications technologies.

Coincidentally this is a subject I have been giving some thought to myself, partly because when you have your head buried in a computer/phone/iPad life seems to whizz by (see original research output on the 3rd Law of the Internet).

The pace of life need slowing down so that we can enjoy our environment and our families before the axeman cometh!!

I have already been culling social networking platforms – my 4sq, Scoville & Empire Avenue accounts are being left to wither and die. Facebook is retained for the moment for contact with the family. Google+ is emerging but as you may know though, Twitter is king.

Part of the problem is that I want to minimise the time my kids spend zombie like in front of screens – if I am one of those zombies – or at least a deaf mute – I don’t have a strong argument. Screens do not equal balanced family life with kids happily out playing sports, doing their homework or practising musical instruments in other rooms whilst we grown-ups get on with useful and fulfilling adult tasks, basking in our success as parents1.

We, the world, have not yet worked out the optimum technology/life balance – probably because the right technology is not there yet. The organisations that provide the platforms to do this (I use the plural because we need this to be a competitive arena) will be big winners. We may already know their names but I am not sure we can say for certain who they are.

If you are a Twitter follower and wonder why there are henceforth gaps in my tweets of an evening it is almost certainly because I have started to read Britain after Rome by Robin Fleming.

I have hundreds of books in my house and part of the life balance process is to read real books again. Of course my wife can’t really differentiate between books and computers – I still don’t hear her when I am reading! Hmm 🙂

1 Look I know this isn’t what happens in real life but you all know what I do for a living – I have my head right up there in the clouds.  In the meantime look out for my next post on Google+ 🙂


Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

One reply on “The technology / family life balance”

Unfortunately Tref books just don’t cut it anymore, they are cumbersome and environmentally unfriendly, you need a kindle, now there’s a real book. My daughter at 10 would have never read a book 2.5 inches thick and 450 pages, but at 4mm it looked like a doddle to her and she read it easily. We should embrace the technology that really makes our lives easier and reject those that don’t, like my wi-fit balance board that has been used once!!! I will be the first however to go for any kind of implant available rather than putting a phone to my ear!

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