Pew Internet and American Life released results of a poll asking adults if they thought that their family today was affected by the use of the Internet and cell phones, and whether these technologies made them closer compared to when they were growing up. While sixty percent reported not much difference, twenty-five percent said they were closer than family before. Only eleven percent said that they were not as close today as their family was then. "Among all household types, the traditional nuclear family has the highest rate of technology usage and ownership." Modern family life usually uses the Internet and cellular phones. A traditional family structure of a married couple and minor children are more likely to own a computer, use the Internet, and own cell phones, than other household types: single adults, homes with unrelated adults, or couples without children.
These high rates of technology usage affect family communication. Cell phones allow members to stay in touch more regularly, and these households are likely to view online material together.
This result was the opposite to popular fears that the Internet has been taking people away from each other, according to the Washington Post . The study shows that the presence of technology in people's lives does not detract from their physical presence with each other.
The poll of 2,252 people explored technology use of 482 married or co-habitating adults with children under the age of eighteen. "Cellphones and Internet use were widespread in two-parent households, regardless of education, income, employment, race and ethnicity, with 94 percent saying at least one adult used the Internet and 84 percent saying children were using the Internet."
The benefits of the connected family are clear: Couples connect and coordinate with their children more easily, and share experiences together online. Despite longer working hours and less leisure time for parents, they feel more involved with each other and their children through text messaging and other mobile communication methods.