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How the internet is changing family dynamics

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Since the late 1990's when home internet started to become more common, the behaviour and dynamics of British families have undergone a rapid transformation. Many families spend less time together on a day-to-day basis, finding that children would rather interact with their computer than their parents. Despite this, there is evidence of families developing a closer relationship as a result of technological advances.

In it together

One of the characteristics that has made the human race so successful as a species is our ability to share skills and knowledge with our offspring. These days though, technology is advancing at lightning speed and the younger generation are advancing with it. This has led to a strange role reversal, whereby children are passing on their learning to their parents. Super-fast broadband has made it more convenient to shop, pay bills and gain new skills on line. With limited computing skills, parents are turning to their children for assistance.

Keeping in touch

Since commercial air travel became a reality, many parents have found themselves waving their grown-up children off for a new life abroad. Fortunately, webcams and high-speed broadband are now so advanced that it is possible to chat to loved ones 'face-to-face' via the internet. Grandparents are getting the first glimpse of grandchildren through a computer screen. Loved ones are looking into each others eyes every evening despite being in different continents.

Home working

One of the major advantages that high speed home broadband holds for the family is the possibility of working from home. Increasing numbers of companies are allowing employees to work from their home office, often arranging their working hours around their children.

Entrepreneurial parents are even starting up their own internet-based businesses that they are able to integrate into family life. With the opportunity for distance learning and online interaction with teachers and peers, home education is also becoming increasingly popular. Whole families are now able to undertake their daily activities whilst remaining together in the home. This is likely to become increasingly popular as we become more environmentally conscious and strive to reduce our carbon footprint. What better way to do so than cutting out the daily commute?

Understanding what's on offer

The ever-changing technologies and services available via the internet can be confusing. Equally confusing is the number of broadband providers and the different packages each one offers. While this is a competitive market, broadband providers are very good at explaining what it all means in layman's terms. Just have a look at websites such as Sky broadband information if you are unsure. While on the face of it, super-fast broadband can seem a little daunting; its advantages for the whole family are immeasurable.

According to the regulatory body, Ofcom, recent research has shown that consumers are receiving better information on broadband speeds. A massive 96% of mystery shoppers were provided with an estimate of broadband speed when making a telephone enquiry.

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