Is the Internet destroying families? (Probably not, no.)


Honk if you like spending time with your family! Not too many honks, eh? Maybe that’s because you spend all of your time online, on Twitter, on 4Chan, on PerezHilton, on YouTube! There’s a new report coming out of USC that says that Internet use has increased, and the amount of time spent with one’s family has decreased. Is there a direct correlation? Maybe not, but it’s worth exploring for a minute.

Last year, 28 percent of Americans said they spent less time with their family than in the previous year. In 2006, that number was 11 percent.

At the same time, the number of hours people spend online has increased. Connecting the dots, perhaps somewhat carelessly, we conclude that the Internet is to blame for destroying the American family.

But is it? Just look at CrunchGear’s editor, Mr. John Biggs, whose only fault is that he cares too much about his fellow man. Now here’s a man who spends something like 12+ hours a day, and yet has a healthy family life. A loving wife, two healthy kids, a Nintendo Wii, the whole nine yards. Does his Internet use preclude him from having a normal family, from spending time with the wife and kids? No. Mr. Biggs may be slightly out of shape, but his family life is A-OK.