Children Teach Their Parents Technology 40% of the Time
We all know the stereotype, and may even fit it, that older people, like our parents, are disconnected from modern technology until younger people, like their children, teach them how to use it. I know this situation is not uncommon in my family at least. Now according to research reported by the International Communication Association, as much as 40% of parents learn technology from their children.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University Diego Portales and involved interviewing 14 parent/child sets and surveying 242 more. The results gave the 40% datum but also some interesting trends. It was more likely for the mothers to learn technology from their children, and it was more common in families of lower socioeconomic status. In this situation the children likely learned the technology in school or from friends, and this knowledge ultimately spilled over to the parents. It was also discovered that the parents may not be fully aware of their children's influence.
This result is not surprising, even stepping away from the stereotype as in immigrant families it is not uncommon for the children to act as the language and cultural link between the family and the new environment. In this case the new environment is technology and digital media.