Edited By Carol J. Bruess
5. Exploring the Interaction of Media Richness and Family Characteristics in Computer-Mediated Communication
← 98 | 99 → Exploring the Interaction of Media Richness and Family Characteristics in Computer-Mediated Communication
EMILY M. CRAMER
North Central College
EDWARD A. MABRY
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
In 2008, the Pew Internet and American Life Project published Networked Families, a comprehensive report on the use of technology within families in the United States (Kennedy, Smith, Wells, & Wellman, 2008). Using a sample of adults aged 18 and older (N = 2,252), the project concluded, “Technology now permeates American households and has become a central feature of families’ day-today lives” (p. i). Of married couples with children, 95% of households have cell phones, 93% have computers, and 94% report at least one family member going online. Sixty-six percent of married-with-children households have a broadband connection, and 58% own two or more desktop/laptop computers. Moreover, 65% of households contain a husband, wife, and child who go online.
Families’ ever-increasing use and reliance on computers, the Internet, and cell phones are remarkable, especially in light of concerns that technology would pull the family apart (Kennedy et al., 2008). On the contrary, adults surveyed by Pew felt computer-mediated communication (CMC) helped them stay closer to friends and family. These findings support extant research on the influence of information and communication technologies on social relationships (Boase, Horrigan, Wellman, & Rainie, 2006; Wajcman, Bittman, & Brown, 2008). Using data from a 2000 Pew study, Chesley and Fox (2012)...
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