Modern Technology Destroying the Family as We Know ItS

Remember when your Mom would go into your room each morning to wake you for school? Well those days are gone, now that parents are so busy Facebooking that they have to text message their kids to wake them up.

Brad Stone of the New York Times has a piece in today's paper on the effects of modern technology on the family, specifically in the morning. Stone note how the addiction to gadgets and social networking are altering the great American family morning rituals. Instead of getting up immediately for breakfast or coffee or to read the morning paper, people are going straight to their gadgets to check email and to play around on Facebook and Twitter. In the course of his reporting, Stone profiles a few families, one of which are the Gudes of East Lansing, Michigan.

Today, Mr. Gude wakes at around 6 a.m. to check his work e-mail and his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The two boys, Cole and Erik, start each morning with text messages, video games and Facebook.

The Gudes' sons sleep with their phones next to their beds, so they start the day with text messages in place of alarm clocks. Mr. Gude, an instructor at Michigan State University, sends texts to his two sons to wake up.

"We use texting as an in-house intercom," he said. "I could just walk upstairs, but they always answer their texts."

Now, the Gude family may be the epitome of the modern, wired American family, but isn't the excerpt above kind of, well, sad. Personally, one of the my fondest memories of childhood was of my Mom coming into my room to wake me up each morning for breakfast and to get ready for school. The thought of being woken by freaking text message because Mom's too busy playing around on Twitter is utterly horrifying! How long before they start IMing each other at the damn dinner table? Ugh.