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Modern family: Work, rest and play...the digital way

With fast broadband leading the way, Aussie families are beginning to adopt 'digital lifestyles' – but what does that really mean?

There is no doubt about it - technology and the way we use it is having a massive impact on how we work, play and connect with our loved ones.

Looking back, the advent of television was the first milestone in that journey. It saw our living rooms get more oriented around a shared screen, and redefined how families spent their evenings together at home.

The next major shift happened when personal computers - and subsequently the internet - came about.

Together, they opened an exciting world of possibilities for individuals and families. From education to entertainment to electronic communication, no aspect of our lives remained untouched.

Today, we’ve come a long way from those humble beginnings of shared televisions and family computers.

Most of us now live “digital lifestyles” that allow us to work, play, share and connect in a manner that’s simple, seamless and screen-agnostic – an idea that was unimaginable just a few decades ago.

With greater access to fast and reliable broadband, these digital lifestyles will only get more enhanced and sophisticated. We explore two key ways it will impact how families engage in the household.

In the home

We are more connected than ever with a report showing that 50 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over engage in five or more online activities each day. It should, therefore, come as no surprise there are gadgets galore in Aussie households.

With Internet of Things likely to become a way of life rather than a distant dream, the number of connected devices an average family uses will only increase over the next few years.

Technology in the home is ultimately going to enable new definitions for work, rest and play, especially as our younger generations begin to hit adulthood.

With access to a multitude of devices as well as improved connectivity, there’s something for everyone to get engaged with – from bespoke educational videos and gaming options for kids to on-demand sport and entertainment for the adults.

Related reading: 10 devices that will make your home smarter


Increased technology use has resulted in the paradox of individuals being more connected than they’ve ever been, but feeling more isolated than ever before.

However, when it comes to family relationships, technology enables us to share our experiences with one another like never before, helping fill in the gaps that emerge as a result of everyone being in different places.

For example, if a mum in Queensland wants to connect with her son who’s on a holiday in America, there are a number of simple ways she is able to do that now - from video calling services like Skype to texting apps to following his travelson social media.

This allows her to be a part of her child’s adventures despite the physical distance or having to wait for him to send a direct update.

Using technology to foster successful relationships, will ultimately come down to our ability to balance individual exploration and expression across our own devices and networks. 

Related reading: How a Brisbane family has embraced the digital lifestyle

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