A new report by Pew Internet & American Life Project suggest the Internet has brought families closer together:
"We were surprised to see that lots of families treat the Internet as a place for shared experiences," Tracy Kennedy, author of a new report about the survey called "Networked Families," said in a statement. "They don't just withdraw from the family to their own computer for private screen time. They pretty regularly say, 'Hey--look at this!' to others in the household."
More than 50 percent of Internet users who live with a spouse and at least one child go online with another person at least a few times a week, the survey found. Asked about the impact of new technologies, 47 percent said they have increased the quality of communication between family members, and the same percentage said there had been no difference.
One quarter said their family is closer today than when they were growing up; 11 percent said their family is not as close they were in the past; and 60 percent said new technologies have not made any difference in the closeness of their family members. Much of this has to do with the fact that cell phones have become vital communication tools for families.
And the notion of the anti-social computer geek doesn't necessarily apply to Internet users, who socialize as frequently as non-users, the survey found.