Generation gap – How technology tears apart family life


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Undoubtedly, technology is affecting family relationships. Children have little time to share with parents.

The gap is much wider with grandparents. Modern-day technology is being blamed for this disparity, with the young people being more interested in watching – television, exploring Internet, video games, smartphones, and tablets.

Undeniably, the emergence of technologies has minimized the hindrance of time and space, under the assumption that social life in all its aspects has become easier. It is true that due tools such as mobile phones and the Internet, better communication across the world has been possible and gaining understanding of other cultures has become more accessible.  It is believed that modern technology helps in maintaining and strengthening family relationships, where communication is taking place effectively.  Is technology encouraging communication among family members or discouraging it?

Internet Generation
The generation of today can be figured as the Internet generation.  The advent of modern technologies has highly affected human lives both positively and negatively.  Technology has had a profound impact on what it means to be social.  We are at a point in history where very few people have given critical thoughts to new social realities created by technology and what those realities mean for the individual and society.  If on the one hand, technology has eased the lives of people, on the other hand, it acts as a detriment when it comes to abide by social relationships and interactions.

Even if the generation gap between elders and youngsters is not a new phenomenon, with technology, it has reached to its peak.  Grandparents complain about the behavioural changes in youngsters, grandchildren in particular.  Day by day, grandparents are being deprived of the affection and tenderness of grandchildren.  One of the foremost factors brought forward by grandparents is that the generation of today is too involved in technology. Technology has been dipped in their lives to such an extent that grandchildren hardly find time to spend with their grandparents. Mobile phones with Internet and Wi-Fi has further affected the communication between elders and teenagers.

As a matter of fact, children are spending increasing amounts of their time in front of televisions, computers, game consoles or wielding mobile phones.  It can be noted that a surge in online activities is building barriers between grandparents, parents and children, thus acting as a hindrance in communicating.  It seems that grandparents are the ones who suffer most from modern change as they have witnessed a tremendous transformation with time.
According to the latest annual report of Statistics Mauritius concerning Information and Communication Technology, there has been a great demand for mobile Internet than fixed Internet. It can be noted that there have been an increase of 53.8% of Internet subscriptions in 2012 compared to that in 2011.  That is, 370, 000 against 568 900 in 2012.  The number of mobile Internet subscriptions has climbed to 77.2%, from 236,800 in 2011 to 419,500 in 2012.

Concerning the subscriptions of fixed Internet including wireless connections, there has been a shift of 12.2% from 133,200 in 2011 to 149,400 in 2012.  These statistics clearly show that there is a great demand when it comes to Internet, mobile Internet in particular.  The high demand of handy Internet can explain the degradation of communication which many people are now facing.

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Article prepared by Leon Dubois

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