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Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media

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Edited By Carol J. Bruess

Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media is an innovative collection of contemporary data-driven research and theorizing about how digital and social media are affecting and changing nearly every aspect of family interaction over the lifespan. The research and thinking featured in the book reflects the intense growth of interest in families in the digital age. Chapters explore communication among couples, families, parents, adolescents, and emerging adults as their realities are created, impacted, changed, structured, improved, influenced and/or inhibited by cell phones, smartphones, personal desktop and laptop computers, MP3 players, e-tablets, e-readers, email, Facebook, photo sharing, Skype, Twitter, SnapChat, blogs, Instagram, and other emerging technologies. Each chapter significantly advances thinking about how digital media have become deeply embedded in the lives of families and couples, as well as how they are affecting the very ways we as twenty-first-century communicators see ourselves and, by extension, conceive of and behave in our most intimate and longest-lasting relationships.
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4. The Couple and Family Technology Framework

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4

← 75 | 76 → The Couple and Family Technology Framework

KATHERINE M. HERTLEN

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

MARKIE L. c. BLUMER

University of Wisconsin–Stout

Introduction

There is no longer a question that technology and new media have impacted the lives of individual children, adults, and their relationships. Mobile phones, laptops, and tablets are a primary way many of us work, spend leisure time, and connect with family and friends, a shift from previous leisure activities (Woodard & Gridina, 2000). They accelerate the speed of our communication (for good or for bad) and provide a chance to simultaneously dissociate and connect.

In this chapter, we present the theoretical underpinnings and therapeutic application of the Couple and Family Technology (CFT) Framework. We describe the ecological elements of the framework and the ways relationships are helped and hindered by these elements. We also attend to the areas in which the ecological elements affect couples and families in specific ways: through roles, rules, boundaries, relationship initiation, relationship maintenance, and relationship dissolution.

Psychological Effects Associated with Technology Usage

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