There were people who predicted, half-jokingly, half-disdainfully, how the digital era would result in a sort of New Familial Intimacy — the kind conducted through cell phones and laptops, Facebook and IM. An intimacy that wasn’t intimate at all. And it seems the trends are bearing that out.
This poll by WhyMomsRule.com indicates that Generation Y moms are far more comfortable with the notion of parenting by pixel…using digital tools to take the place of face time.
If you look at the numbers closely enough, it might even be taken to show that these moms do about the same amount of total communication, or perhaps even slightly less, a situation that might be driven by their work lives, which are usually busier than those of Boomers.
Would these moms, if their homelife and work situations were identical to those of their predecessors, show largely the same communication dynamic?
Or do digital means give us a different quality of contact entirely, one that would allow a certain digital distance regardless of context? Does the convenience and ability to substitute text for direct contact habituate families to a different model for interaction? And how vital and valid will that model prove, in the long run?