Dear Ms. Smartphone: I would like to have better communications with my family. But it’s confusing. My mom seems to always be on the phone when I get home from school. When we have a family dinner, it seems like everyone has their phone next to them. But,I Skype my Grandparents weekly and I talk with my Dad, who lives out-of-state, almost every day. Ken, Penngrove
Dear Ken: Your observations are pretty astute. It’s been said that the technology makes us closer to people who are farther away, and more distant with people who are close by. It varies by age too, so as you get older you might find a different set of experiences to share with nearby family .
When cell phones were fairly new (2008) Pew did a large survey and identified the blurring of work and family life but did not (yet) see an impact on parent/child relationships. Times have changed! Take a look at this 2018 advise from PBS Parents and a Harvard trained pediatrician. She was fascinated (and alarmed) by the cultural change she saw as parents rapidly adopted mobile devices. You cannot change your parents, but you can set an example- communicate with them as you would like them to communicate with you.