A family that lives together, vacations together, and eats dinner together has always been the ideal. Turns out it’s for a good reason: Research indicates the outcomes of the kids that are raised in close-knit families are better in countless ways. A more connected family, in other words, makes a happier family.
The Internet hasn’t changed the truth of this, but it has upended the look of it. Rather than listening to stories from dear old dad about how the world works, we’re searching the Internet together adding sourced facts to the story. Instead of putting an album on to listen to music together, we’re taking turns shouting requests at our smart speakers. Instead of wondering about how the dogs or kids are doing while we’re away, we can connect to live streams to check on the pets or text them to see where they are after school.
Smart devices can make families safer, more productive, and, ultimately, they can bring them closer. It’s a fine future we’ve built for ourselves — if we know how to use it.