Edited By Carol J. Bruess
11. “Technoference”: Everyday Intrusions and Interruptions of Technology in Couple and Family Relationships
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Everyday Intrusions and Interruptions of Technology in Couple and Family Relationships
BRANDON T. MCDANIEL
Pennsylvania State University
New technology and mobile devices, such as cell phones, smartphones, laptops, and tablets, have become common items in many families’ homes in the United States. Recent surveys suggest that approximately 91% of American adults own a cell phone (with 81% of 25–34 year olds owning a smartphone), 61% have a laptop, 34% have a tablet, and 72% of online adults use social networking sites (Brenner & Smith, 2013; Lenhart, Madden, Smith, Purcell, Zickuhr, & Rainie, 2011; Pew, 2012; Rainie, 2012; Smith, 2013; Zickuhr, 2013). These numbers are likely increasing; mobile technologies and communication devices have become the fastest-growing technology in history (Castells, Fernandez-Ardevol, Qiu, & Sey, 2007). These devices have become so popular and have such attractive features that some individuals and families are beginning to use them in ways problematic for themselves and their relationships. The current chapter examines what I term “technology interference” or “technoference,” which includes times when and ways that technological devices intrude, interrupt, and/or get in the way of couple or family communication and interactions in everyday life. I begin this discussion first by examining individual characteristics that predict individual use of mobile devices, as well as problematic use. I then move to an examination of characteristics of the devices themselves, those features that influence use. Then, ← 228 | 229 → I...
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