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Families more social thanks to online chatting

Richard Bell

The rise of online communication in real time is bringing families closer together, according to new research.

The study, conducted by OMD UK along with Time Inc. UK, has suggested that families are now watching TV together more often than in the past; a return to how things were some years ago.

In the 1980s and 1990s, watching  television together each night was a family event. According to the researchers, being able to chat online and in real time about the events taking place is making it more important to watch live programmes when originally broadcast.

The ‘Families of the Future’ study, which quizzed 4,000 people in the country, revealed that 68% of respondents viewed watching TV together as valued family time.

It also found that 78% did not feel technology disrupted home life, despite 67% being concerned about privacy as a result.

The managing partner for strategy at OMD UK, Rian Shah, said:

“The increasing presence of mobile and tablet devices within the household and adoption of a ‘stack and snack’ approach to how we consume media and content, has actually brought families back into the living room together.”

Other findings in the report also showed that the dynamics of the family structure is changing. In the past, a traditional family was considered as the nucleus: a 2.4 kid and parent archetype. The study showed that this is not the public perception any more, with friends becoming included and the term more fluid than ever before.

The results of the study stated that 19% included friends and 36% included in-law relations in their family definition. Twenty-nine percent of respondents included pets.

With social media being a driving force for greater family cohesion and inclusion, it highlights the importance for firms to engage online during live TV broadcasts. Monitoring real-time trends and having a quick response to chatter on social network platforms can create brand awareness quickly and effectively.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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