Modern families look quite different than those from a half-century ago. In the 1960s and ’70s, about two-thirds of married couples had only one spouse in the workforce— usually the husband. Many wives tended to domestic chores, child rearing, and other tasks throughout the work day. The result was that in evenings and on weekends, couples and family members had time to devote to each other without the burden of a never-ending list of obligations.
Fast forward to 2012: In nearly half of married couples, both spouses work. For couples with children, this means evenings and weekends are filled with all the pesky things that cannot happen during the week, like housework, grocery shopping, and extracurricular interests. Add to that the events and activities that children participate in, and there is little time left for couples to connect with each other and their children.
In a recent article, experts explain that the technological advances of recent years may make it easier to communicate with people, but can also lead to communication breakdowns in families. Psychologists agree that cell phones, smart phones, tablets, computers, and video games have consumed what little couple time people have today. “People are plugged into their electronic gadgets, practically every waking minute of the day,” says Barbara Koppe, a licensed social worker from St. Louis. Koppe, who focuses on family and marriage therapy, says couples are so focused on their gadgets that they don’t make time to have real, live conversations with each other. Texting and emailing may be the convenient, but according to many marriage experts, it can also impair a family’s ability to have meaningful interactions with each other. So rather than Googling “temperamental teenagers” or “distant spouses,” maybe we should put down our phones, shut off our laptops, and sit down with our loved ones. We can learn a lot more about what’s really going on in our relationships from the people we share them with than we ever can from technology.
Antoon, Reem. Struggling relationships in a gadget era… Gulf Daily News. N.p., 25 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=340431
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