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Is Facebook Killing Your Family?

Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof Tuesday July 5, 2011
<? echo $type; ?> Is Facebook Killing Your Family?

It’s after dinner, and your family sits down to relax. Everyone’s engaged in something.

Your daughter is Facebooking her friends. Your son is gaming, obsessively trying to get to the next level. You’re on your laptop and your spouse is texting a friend.

Welcome to 2011. Everyone is connecting with someone—just not with the people in the room.

So, what’s the deal with technology? Is it good? Bad? Indifferent? Inevitable? How is it impacting your family, and what can you do about it?

Here’s what we discovered. Only 35 percent of tweens and teens feel emotionally close to their dads, and only 59 percent feel emotionally close to their moms. Those were just two of the findings we uncovered a few months ago when Orange partnered with the Barna Group to commission an unprecedented survey of over 400 families—asking both parents and teens about their use of technology and its impact on relationships in the home.

Alarming as that statistic is, is it really Facebook that’s killing your family? The study suggests that maybe the answer is “no.” What if technology isn’t good or evil, but simply reveals and amplifies what’s already there?

Consider this: the primary technological activity parents and teens engage in today is watching television. And TV has been around for several generations. Maybe if there’s a relational disconnect happening, it’s not as recent as we might think. Generations of teens have had to deal with families whose chief activity is to watch a screen in a family room, with dads who disappeared into the garage alone to tinker with an engine, and with moms busy with careers, housework and book clubs with friends.

Relationships within families are worth fighting for. The 2011 State of the Church And Family provides insight into all of these trends and much more, and offers some strategies on how families can foster deep and meaningful relationships between parents and children.

Technology gives us incredible opportunities and connectedness, but like all things, needs to be managed so it becomes a servant of what matters most – our relationship with God and each other. Click here to get your copy of the report today. And watch for a book on the subject coming in the fall of 2011. We’re producing these resources because we’re passionate about helping families build strong relationships.

In the meantime, what are you learning about technology and relationship? How is it impacting your family for better? For worse?

Carey Nieuwhof is the founding pastor of Connexus Church, a growing multi-campus church north of Toronto and strategic partner of North Point Community Church. Prior to starting Connexus, Carey served for 12 years in a mainline church, transitioning three small congregations into a single, rapidly growing church. Carey is the author of several best-selling books, including the Amazon #1 best-selling Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow. He is also the author of Leading Change Without Losing It and co-author of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. Carey writes one of today's most widely read Christian leadership blogs at www.careynieuwhof.com and hosts the top-rated Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, where he interviews some of today's best leaders. He speaks to North American and global leaders about leadership, change and personal growth. He and his wife Toni live near Barrie, Ontario and have two sons.