While we sometimes think that technology is harming the family unit, there may be positive ways that families have changed in the digital age.

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Have you ever noticed how technology may have actually improved your family connection?

In the final installment of three-part “Modern Family” Study, Trusted Media Brands Insight Lab finds that digital technologies play an indispensable role in the modern American home and family 

Trusted Media Brands, a leader in consumer-driven multi-platform media content, in partnership with Kantar Consulting, today released the final installment of a multi-phase study on American families. “The Digital Connection: Bringing Families Together” is the third release of a three-part research series on “The Modern Family” that delves into the nuances of modern family life, makeup, and shifting behaviors. This comprehensive study is redefining common perceptions of quality time, the evolving meaning of home, desired experiences, and the role of diversity in the family.

“The Digital Connection: Bringing Families Together” found that digital technologies play an essential, even indispensable role in the modern American home and family.

While it’s true that many families are seeking sensible cutbacks to “screen time,” Trusted Media Brands research suggests that what has been overlooked are the ways in which technology is also improving family life and connection.

Key findings from the “Digital Connection” report reveal the following:

  1. Modern families don’t perceive technology as hindering family relationships:

The stereotypical perception is that of distracted family members with eyes glued to their screens, idly scrolling through their social media newsfeed instead of interacting with their friends and loved ones. Yet, Trusted Media Brands’ research found that just 15% of families say technology has made their family less engaged with one another when they’re together, and just 9% say it negatively affects their family’s social skills.

  1. Modern families appreciate technology’s fun and time-saving attributes:

Contrary to reports on the time-sucking aspects of personal technology, Trusted Media Brand’s research found that 64% of modern families believe technology has given them more, not less, leisure time.

The growing popularity of voice-activated speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home promises to enhance family life in the coming years: 44% of smart speaker owner families say that having the device in their homes has helped them spend more time with other people.

Taking on domestic duties such as compiling grocery lists and scheduling appointments, these voice-activated devices free up families so they can focus on other, more important tasks and pastimes.

  1. Modern families value technology’s ability to keep them connected:

Overall, today’s modern families are highly appreciative of the role technology plays in maintaining closeness between far-flung family members: 61% of family members say technology helps families stay in close touch. Additionally, social media is a strong connector for families; and among those who say they use social channels to stay connected, 95% use Facebook and 29% use Instagram (42% among Multi-cultural families).

“It’s clear from our research that American families are embracing digital technology in their homes and everyday lives as a means of entertainment and connection,” said Bonnie Kintzer, president and CEO, Trusted Media Brands. “As American families look to enhance and deepen the relationships that matter most in their lives, marketers should be looking for ways to use technology to bring families together and engage them with their brands.”

“The Digital Connection: Bringing Families Together”, and other key findings, can be viewed here.

Parts one and two of this three-part research series on “The Modern Family” delved into Home-basing and the Cultural Exchange.

“Home-basing: Staying in is the New Going Out” found that America has become a nation of home-bodies: 80% of families would rather stay in with their family than go out, with nearly the same percentage (78%) of today’s Millennials saying so. The desire for comfort, connection, and quality time are driving deeper investments in home-based experiences that go beyond Netflix and Amazon Prime.

“Cultural Exchange: A New Blend of Family and Tradition” found that the clear majority of today’s modern families – regardless of ethnic makeup – are adapting to, accepting, and even embracing diversity in their lifestyles, despite reports that we are a divided nation.

Research for the Trusted Media Brands “Modern Family” series was led by the company’s Insight Lab which is dedicated to producing breakthrough consumer and B2B insights in an era of accelerated change.

The research data came from the following three sources: A custom, online survey of 3,500 American adults 18+ in families conducted from July 18 to July 27, 2018 (Note: “Family” was defined as two or more adults living in a household, with at least one being a family member or spouse); 250 qualitative interviews with 50 people through the Voxpopme platform; annual and quarterly surveys from Kantar Consulting’s U.S. MONITOR, an ongoing source of insights about the changing attitudes, values, and lifestyle of the American consumer.

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