Chapter 9: What Boundaries? Technology’s Role in Work and Family Balance

9.4 Blog Prompts

What does the changing world of work mean for the field of family social science? Should we be changing how we teach about family relationships and management to adapt to work that is anywhere, anytime, social, mobile, and collaborative, and focused more on results rather than place and time?

Do you foresee that changes in the workplace will mean changes for the division of family roles, so that work is accomplished AND the functions and responsibilities of the family to children, couples, and the family as a whole are fulfilled?

Consider the critical post question #1, above. In light of possible changes ahead for families, how do we advocate as professionals for family time, communication, connectedness, engagement, and presence to respond and attend to the needs of growing children?

In the Families and Technology course, students tracked 12 hours of their personal technology use and analyzed what that use meant to their personal well-being and relationships. Many identified mixed feelings — that it was valuable to their school work and personal lives but was also a significant source of distraction. Many reported that they felt that they were addicted, or at least that they’d become dependent on technology. As we consider boundary blurring and work and family, consider what this means for you in the future. What steps will you take to find necessary boundaries that help you maintain a healthy balance? Student lives in school add on to or mimic lives with full-time work. This is a good time to thoughtfully consider intentional technology use for your future as a working family member.

View this video interview with Simon Sinek: Millennials in the Workplace .

He draws conclusions on millennials in the workplace based on four factors, and makes recommendations for us as a society and for employers. Share your reaction to the video. How does Sinek’s perspective about your generation leave you feeling? Do you agree/disagree? What do you think about his recommendations? Are they fair? Would we expect workplaces to accommodate to millennials as workers? What expectations should workplaces place on individuals?

  • Or, see this more recent video from Simon Sinek on the current situation and the realities for workplace innovation: These Are Not Unprecedented Times | Simon Sinek 
  • What are your thoughts? How might Sinek’s words be evocative for universities as well?

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