Social scientists and Web watchers of all stripes have been warning us, for some time now, that the Internet — and the Web in particular — is taking the place of television as a destructive force, competing with “family” activities for the attention and affection of folks of all ages and disrupting communication between family members.

However… A recent survey of over 2,200 American adults by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that many families see the Internet as “a place for shared experiences”.

Among other findings, the Pew Networked Families study revealed that 50 per cent of Internet users in families with at least one child go Web surfing in the company of at least one another family member at least once a week. In addition, 47 per cent of those polled reported that the Internet had enhanced communication between family members while an equal percentage said it had made no difference, one way or the other.

The Networked Families report is avaialble in full at the Pew Web site.

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