Edited By Carol J. Bruess
8. Navigating Emerging Adulthood with Communication Technology
← 160 | 161 → Navigating Emerging Adulthood with Communication Technology
ELIZABETH DORRANCE HALL
MEGAN K. FEISTER
Digital communication technology is changing the landscape of the American family and can make a significant difference in the lives of emerging adults attempting to stay in close contact with their family of origin. Emerging adults experience a multitude of life events in rapid succession, making ages 18 to 25 a life stage for significant identity exploration and formation in the areas of love, career, and development of worldview (Arnett, 2000). The emerging adult life stage is marked by continuous change: moving away from home for college, job, or career; starting higher education and/or finishing formal education; seriously dating; cohabiting; and for some, getting married and having children. Family is an important source of support for emerging adults during this transitional period. Because most families are able to stay in contact with the emerging adults in their network via a variety of media—for example, as of 2010, 84% of families in the United States have Internet access–—opportunities for offering support are numerous (Jennings & Wartella, 2013).
Jennings and Wartella (2013) suggest advancements in technology affect family roles, stages, and transitions. Technology is certainly affecting emerging adults. For example, social networking sites (SNSs) and other new communication technologies influence identity formation—an important aspect of emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2000)—and relationship maintenance (Steinfield, Ellison, & ← 161 | 162...
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