Chapter 3: Differences Within and Across Familes’ Technology Use

3.3 Learning Activities

Mapping App to Function

Look at your phone (smartphone). Examine the range of apps on the device, perhaps writing down each one. What do you do with each application? What function does it serve? Consider your relationships with friends, partners, and family members. How do you use each application, if at all?


Considering Behavior

What is your behavior with your smartphone? How would you document it? Provide a list of ways that you might observe or track your use. Why might your use matter? In other words, what is the impact of your checking your phone frequently during the day? How much time do you spend on particular apps?


Considering Your Family

Identify each member of your immediate family. List them by name and their role in the family. Considering devices, applications, attitudes, knowledge and skills, and behaviors, identify use for each family member. Looking across your family, how are individual members similar or different in their technology use?

What do those differences mean to:

  • Family communication?
  • Family connectedness?
  • Family conflicts?
  • Family strengths?

Access Resources

In this video, a single mother talks about her using the library to access the computers for herself and her children. After viewing the video, consider options for families like this who don’t have home access to the internet. Identify resources in your town or neighborhood for adults to work/attend school, for children to complete homework and school projects, and for families to make connections with others.


Considering Cross-Family Dynamics


With another person, have a discussion about your families. How might your families be similar and different with regard to technology use, access, and comfort? Are there challenges faced in one family but not another? Are their strengths exhibited by one family and not the other?



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Critical Perspectives on Technology and the Family Copyright © 2022 by Susan K. Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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