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Family Communication in the Age of Digital and Social Media


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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22. The Technology-Focused Genogram: A Tool for Exploring Intergenerational Family Communication Patterns around Technology Use



← 470 | 471 → The Technology-Focused Genogram

A Tool for Exploring Intergenerational Family Communication Patterns around Technology Use


University of Wisconsin–Stout


University of Nevada, Las Vegas

AUTHORS NOTE: A note of thanks to Megan VandenBosch, Graduate Assistant, University of Wisconsin–Stout Human Development and Family Studies Department, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, for her assistance with references and editing of earlier drafts.


According to the Internet World Statistics (2012), as of June 2012 approximately 2.5 billion of the more than 7 billion people in the world are Internet users. Indeed, communication via various technologies for many is an everyday occurrence, particularly in the global regional areas known as Asia, Europe, and North America (Internet World Statistics, 2012). Technology’s immersion is not just pervasive, it is also prominent in daily life—some days more so than others. For instance, recently I (M. L. C. B.) met with a colleague for dinner—for the first time—an occurrence that started and ended on a smartphone. Although we were in the same restaurant, we used our smartphones to “find” each other because neither had met the other before or knew what the other looked like, and each was waiting in separate areas of the building thinking the other was probably late. After texting and finding each other across the room, we started our dinner.

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