Internet use is at an all-time high. But according to a new survey, your family may pay an unseen price for being wired.
Internet Use Up, Family Time Down
More than eight in 10 Americans go online today, and Internet users spend an average of 17 hours per week on the Internet. According to a new survey, this has resulted in less time spent with family members.
Every year since 2000, the University of Southern California has conducted a survey to study the behavior and attitudes regarding Internet usage. Now in its eighth year, the 2009 survey involved 2,000 American households.
Nearly 30 percent of people reported that being online has resulted in them spending less time with family members. This is a threefold increase from the 11 percent reported just two years ago. It's no surprise then that the time per week that families interact as a group has fallen by nearly a third. In 2005, the survey found that the amount of time family members spent together averaged about 26 hours per month. But today, they spend just under 18 hours per month together. What's more, 44 percent of users said that they were sometimes or often ignored because another member of the household spent too much time online.
To ensure that your family time doesn't decline too much because of Internet use, consider these tips:
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Because online harassment is so common, Internet safety experts advise parents to teach kids certain online safety rules. Here's what you can stress with your children: