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Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

Edited By Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb

This is the first collection of readings on computer-mediated communication focusing exclusively on interpersonal interactions. Examining messages exchanged via email, Twitter, Facebook, websites, and blogs, the authors analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.
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15. Family Imbalance and Adjustment to Information and Communication Technologies (Gustavo S. Mesch / Michal Frenkel)

Extract

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Family Imbalance and Adjustment to Information and Communication Technologies

Gustavo S. Mesch

Michal Frenkel

In the last 10 years there has been an increase in academic and research interest on the effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on families with children and adolescents. This interest, focused on a specific stage in the family life cycle, arises from two parallel and associated processes. The first is the rapid increase in household adoption of these technologies. Out of all types of families, the percentage of those with children and adolescents having access to the Internet is the highest (Lenhart, Madden, Rankin, & Smith, 2007). So out of all the age groups in the population, adolescents have the highest rate of Internet access and use. The second process is the potential effects of Information and communication technologies on family patterns such as family communication, boundaries, time, and conflicts, all of which may have important consequences for adolescents’ developmental processes (Livingstone, 2007; Mesch, 2006).

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