By Madeline Vance
"Let's have a family gathering for the remaining family members who still speak to eachother."
Families have always been a central unit in society - one that divides people into separate houses and places of living, but brings other together in a variety of ways. Over the years, with the emergence of modern technology, changes in societal values and the definition of "family" and "marriage, and the importance and quality of family time has diminished, leading to loosening of family relationships.
|Families spend less time having face-to-face conversations|
I think there has been a large change in personal relationships due to the internet and modern technology today. My topic focuses on the quality of family life and family relationships. Where a family could once be found eating dinner and playing board games in their living room, can now be found sitting across from each other without speaking, each person laying hold of their mobile device with the reflected light of the screen on their face.
The Meaning of Family Has Changed Over the Years
Little Women is a novel written by Louisa M. Alcott and published in 1868 that talks about a family with four daughters and a father away at war. It shows the interactions of a traditional family and the quality time they spend together. They come together during hard times and spend their free time reading, working, courting, going to school, sewing, going to formal ballroom dances, playing outside and playing dress-up. This was during a time with limited to no use of formal technology. The way they communicated with those who were far away was through letters. This beautiful story is a perfect illustration of the friendship, love and close-knit family ties that come through spending quality time together and limited distractions such as technology.
|March sisters spend time together outside in nature|
Talking During a Road Trip?
Every year my family takes a long road trip to a vacation destination. For the last 8 summers we have driven to the beaches in Florida. Everyone packs their own suitcase full of clothes for the week, and we are also sure to bring our favorite DVD's, headphones, ipods, ipads, cellphones, and laptops. As each of us have gotten our own sources of technology, my parents have cracked down on our amount of usage when we are together as a whole family. Even though the road trip can take 18-20 hours, we have never been allowed to stick our headphones in and tune everyone else out. My parents have encouraged us to make the most of our family time together by having us listen as my mom has read novels to us as we have driven. We have meaningful conversations and come up with fun car games. Even though the reduced amount of time on our technological devices can sometimes lead to more bickering and arguing in the car, I have seen how it also brings me and my siblings closer to one another.
Families Finding Joy Together During a Time of Depression
It has always been said that hard economic times brings people together. During the Great Depression in the 20th century, families found creative ways to spend quality time with one another. "When they weren't working, families found time to have fun, with neighbors, friends, relatives and each other. With little money to spend on entertainment, families enjoyed new board games such as "Monopoly" and "Scrabble" which were first sold during the 1930s. Neighbors got together to play card games such as whist, pinochle, canasta and bridge. Elroy Hoffman says his family didn't have a radio, so they played cards or dominos. 'My Dad and I always played race horse rummy.'"