Deterioration of the Nuclear Family
What is a family? The meaning of family has changed throughout history. It means something different to many people. According to the U.S. Census Bureau: “A family includes a householder and one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. A family household may contain people not related to the householder, but those people are not included as part of the householder’s family. Thus, the number of family households is equal to the number of families, but family households may include more members than do families. Not all households contain families since a household may comprise a group of unrelated people or one person living alone” (Bronson). Society has undergone dramatic social, demographic, and economic changes in this century that have deeply affected youth and their families. Years ago, families went out together, ate all of their meals together, and generally bonded through most everything that they did. Families are supposed to be a source of love, protection, and identity for their members. They are supposed to be the backbone of communities. Today, the role of family is much less meaningful. Families spend little time together, family dinners are rare, and the bonding ways of families in the past seem almost nonexistent. What used to be healthy family life has practically been eroded down to nothing. The role of family is deteriorating over time. There are many possible causes of this. I believe that a few of these causes have contributed to this deterioration more so than others. New advancements in technology are certainly causing changes family life. New advancements in technology, such as the iPad and cell phone, are putting a hold on the bonding time that families used to have. Studies show that in 2012, there was 5.9 billion mobile subscribers, 87 percent of the world population, and over 85 percent of mobile subscribers are able to access the Web. (Mobi Thinking). In reaction to these statistics, the bonding time that is essential to healthy family life, that families commonly experience eating dinner or playing a board game together, is starting to be replaced. Instead of using their free time to create important relationships, Mom is on the couch with her laptop, Dad is in the chair with his smart phone, and the kids are in their rooms watching television or playing with their iPads. Matt Richtel, author of “Attached to Technology” states that these advances are drawing kids away from their parents, and parents away from their kids. He argues that social networking goes along with the technological advances of the modern era. Now that Facebook and Twitter have come into existence, teenagers, even young kids, are being consumed by them. Children these days almost forget about the opportunity to make a long-lasting relationship with their parents. Instead, they are choosing to spend all of their time relating themselves to the superficial relationships they have with the 500 “friends” they have on the internet (Richtel). This is causing relationships between kids and their parents to depreciate. Some parents also feel the need to budge into their children’s lives and make sure their kids are not saying inappropriate things or posting vulgar pictures on the internet. This increases the hostilities in families further by making the parent seem like they are invading their child’s personal privacy, when they are really only looking after their child like a good parent should. Matt agrees with most people when he says that technological advances have done many great things for people, but he goes on to say that they are one reason for the increasing distance between parents and their kids, which is causing the role of family to deteriorate. (Richtel). The popularity of divorce is also having...
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