If you share this story from your mobile phone, you’re actually helping your family grow closer.
According to a study from the University of Kansas, teens and adult children who talk to their parents through social media and texting have a better relationship than those who don’t.
The study found families who communicate through their smartphones in at least two ways — say, texting and videochatting via Skype — were generally happier than those who didn’t at all. Adding a third communication service, like Snapchat, increased the relationship between parents and kids. The study said good communication between parent and child leads to a better quality relationship.
"A lot of parents might resist new technologies. They don't see the point in them, or they seem like a lot of trouble," doctoral student Jennifer Schon, who helped with the study, told CTV News. "But this study shows while it might take some work and learning, it would be worth it in the end if you are trying to have a good relationship with your adult child."
This may seem surprising in light of previous research which found social media and other technologies limit a child’s ability to read another person's emotions, especially if they’re spending too much time on their iPhones and tablets. The study from the University of California Los Angeles found that more face-to-face communication is needed for people to recognize emotions.
And many parents also have their concerns about the kinds of content their kids are consuming on their mobile devices and what kinds of personal information they are divulging. According to Deseret News National’s Chandra Johnson, some children and teens don’t always understand proper boundaries, which could lead them to share too much information, or the wrong kinds of information, about themselves.
Still, forms of social media have proven to be beneficial for families, despite these worries. The AARP, which offers advice to the elderly, recommends its members join Facebook and Skype to connect with others. And there are a variety of other apps and mobile initiatives that can improve familial relationships.
For example, there’s Tower of Power, which gives families topics to discuss over dinner or on trips. As well as Spotify Family, a new service from Spotify which allows family members and friends to share one account for their music listening pleasure.
Netflix also provides a family plan, which allows family members to stream movies simultaneously, and then connect over the shows they watch.