New communications technology frequently gets a pasting in the mainstream media (when was the last time you saw a story about kids accessing the Internet that wasn't negative?), but a new survey by Relationships Australia suggests that Aussies are focusing on the positive effects. A whopping 96% of Australians aged 18-24 said that the Internet, SMS and email had a positive impact on relationships, while amonst the over-60s, 60% also agreed. (Similar results have been seen in other recent surveys.) What seems to be messing up relationships are concerns over money. When Relationships Australia last conducted this survey in 2006, 18% of people said that finance problems were a major source of relationship pressure. In 2008, that figure has gone up to 40%. The survey was conducted in August, before some of the more seismic shifts in the global economy, so I'd expect those numbers to get even higher in the future.
Financial Pressure Is Bad For Relationships, But Technology Is Good
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A dad named Jack R. says just about every week, his 9-year-old son asks if he can use the app Musical.ly. His son's best friend has been telling him that everyone at school has an account. After hearing the kid beg all summer, Jack finally decided to download it onto his own phone and sign up himself so that he could look into the privacy settings and "see how stranger-danger it was." When he entered his gender (male) and birthday (he's 32), Jack says he was bombarded with content he never expected.