Do you allow technology at the dinner table?

There are countless opinions about technology and the role it is playing in people`s lives and their relationships. There`s even a new term for this, called technoference, which refers to technology interfering with people`s face-to-face interactions and relationships. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, new research findings suggest that nearly 9 out of 10 parents feel like it is a good idea to keep technology away from the table.

Dr. Dave Schramm with USU Extension surveyed 631 parents across the United States between the ages of 21-60 about how they view technology. He was particularly interested in how technology interferes with two of the most important spaces for interaction and connection - in beds and eating at tables.
That is why he came up with K-TOOB (Kick Technology Out of Beds) and K-TOOT (Kick Technology Off Of Tables).
• Seventy-five percent (75.5%) of adults surveyed think that K-TOOB is a good idea and 88% believe that K-TOOT is a good idea. These ideas are meant to bring more awareness to how technoference may be affecting people`s relationships and strengthen relationships between couples and between parents and their children.

Here is more of what Dr. Dave found:
• Nearly four out of ten (38.3%) adults admit to using technology at least occasionally while eating at home with family members. This only drops slightly to 34.7% who report using technology while eating at a restaurant with their spouse/partner at least occasionally.
• More than one-third (36.1%) of the adults use technology in their bed every night or almost every night. Even more (43.4%) report that their spouse/partner uses technology in bed almost/every night. That may be why nearly 25% (24.1%) feel like their partner`s use of technology in bed interferes with their sexual relationship.
• 88% agree that technoference is a big problem in our society, with 62% of those surveyed agreeing that it is a big problem in their family, and 70% reporting technology interrupts family time at least occasionally.
• Forty-five percent (45%) consider technology a big problem in their marriage.
• More than half (55.1%) feel like their spouse/partner spends too much time on their cell phone and 48% wish their significant other would spend less time on their cell phone and more time with their children.
• 53% believe they are on their cell phone too much while 59% believe their spouse/partner is on their cell phone too much.
• Six out of ten adults (60.7%) are concerned about the influence technology has on their relationship with their children, and nearly one out of four (24%) wish they had more information about technology and parenting, but don`t know where to turn.

Dr. Dave recently created a guide sheet that may be helpful to parents as they navigate technology. Visit www.relationships.usu.edu to download the free resource.

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