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Online communication may help divorced parents

By simply reading this blog, Georgia readers are providing an example of the role of online media in our everyday lives. Technology has enabled us to communicate faster and in many different ways. However, the quality of those communications may not always be up to par with more traditional methods.

In the case of texting, for example, at least one study suggests that frequent texting may negatively impact grammar skills in students. That result may make sense, considering that the abbreviations, lack of punctuation and capitalization, and partial sentence structures so common in that medium may tempt students to always communicate in a shorthand fashion.

This is not to say that technology has not enabled some wonderful possibilities. Divorced parents, especially those without primary legal custody, may have worried whether a visitation or parenting plan provided enough time with their child. However, social media is one way that parents can stay connected, even without being physically present. Sending Tweets or commenting on Facebook posts and pictures can keep a newly divorced parent informed of the events going on in his or her child's life.

Yet a note of caution is in order for married parents, especially those who may be having some marital discord. A new study suggests that less may more, at least when it comes to the number of media channels used by couples in their communications with each other.

The study looked at 24,000 married individuals and the technology they used to talk with their spouses, such as emails, instant messages, social media sites, and texts. Researchers found that some level of online interactions helped couples stay in touch. However, when the number of media outlets rose above five, researchers observed a 14 percent decline in reported marital satisfaction. Apparently, too many different communication threads might seem oppressive or be too complicated to maintain.

Source: Huffington Post, "Social Media Study Finds Link Between Media Use And Relationship Satisfaction," April 15, 2013

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