Research Finds Mobile Phones Help Keep Families Connected

Many criticize the digital age and say that glowing screens are disconnecting people from their loved ones. New research from T-Mobile and Caravan indicates this may not be the case. In fact, 70% of parents say that smartphones and other mobile devices make it easier to communicate with their kids.

The research indicates mobile technology is simply changing the way families communicate. Nearly half of all parents and kids (48%) said they enjoy communicating with their loved ones through group texts. Adults and kids are using social media to stay in touch as well. More than half of parents (54%) say they use Facebook to stay in touch with their kids, and nearly one-quarter are using Snapchat (23%) and Instagram (22%).

Not only are families communicating more often, the quality of their communication is also improving. Both parents and kids say mobile technology is helping them share their feelings more honestly. A third of parents (33%) say their kids are communicating more openly via smartphones.

Smartphones may also help people celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. While 60% plan to celebrate the day in-person, those who cannot do so are using their smartphones to communicate with their parents. Nearly half (45%) of kids will call their parents on these days. About a third (30%) will text their folks, and 10% will use video chat.

Social networking will also be used to send love to moms and dads, as 20% plan to post their Mother’s and Father’s Day acknowledgements on Facebook, 5% on Instagram and 5% on Snapchat.

Another surprising outcome from the study is who is using the data. Kids are often criticized for hogging the data, but it turns out adults and kids are not as far apart as one would think. Just over half of kids (51%) are “data hogs,” compared to 40% of adults. The other 9% blame “others,” such as aunts, uncles and cousins.

About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor. Natalie can be contacted at [email protected]