Chapter 3: Differences Within and Across Familes’ Technology Use

3.4 Blog Prompts

In the chapter you were asked to consider your own family’s use of technology — variations in each member’s selection and use of devices and application, their attitudes toward technology, their comfort in using it, and their exposure to it. In comparison with one or two other people, or thinking of family depictions on television, identify similarities and differences in your own family. What did you learn? How might understanding your own family be useful (or not useful) to a wider understanding of the nuances of family technology use?

Karraker (Chapter 3, in Breuss, 2015) talks about the families we don’t see when we consider family technology use. Who are those families? Are they homeless? Migrant families? Mothers fleeing domestic violence? What might their unseen technology needs or uses be? How can we, as family professionals and advocates, better identify and understand their uses and needs?

Walker et al. (2011) identified 9 types of parent technology use based on device ownership, frequency of use of applications, and attitudes toward technology. This was adopted from similar research done with a general population of adults by John Horrigan and associates at the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

  1. Why is it useful (or not  useful) to see parents as a range of user “types”? What does it mean for family professionals who are employing or designing technology applications for work with families?
  2. Why was it necessary to look at adult parents when work with adults had already been done? How are parents different from the general adult population with regard to their roles and technology use?


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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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