"We are indeed a nation that's media rich and time poor. We have come to need our media not only to keep our young people entertained while we're doing something else but also to keep our young people connected to us. Busy schedules necessitate short and frequent phone calls between children and Dad or (more frequently) Mom, discussing transportation, meal plans, and joint family activities. We use film and television as 'family time,' and we often share music or sometimes DVDs when we're in the car. We may have many different feelings about these media, and our social environments may help us to know what it means to be a 'good parent' in relation to restricting, discussing, or sharing in media time with our children. But there is little doubt that the digital and mobile media give shape to our collective and individual lives and our feelings about how we enact our relationships with those closest to us.
"Digital and mobile media both potentially solve and potentially exacerbate many dilemmas of contemporary family life. They can enable young people to check in more frequently with their parents and can make it easier to keep track of young people's activities and interactions. They can make new opportunities for intergenerational interactions possible and even desirable. But they are also sources of real distress, anxiety, and worry for a great many parents, because they provide more opportunities for autonomy and for risk taking, amplifying what has long been a source of concern about the preteen and teen years. Parenting practices have changed in relation to this increase in the autonomy of youth culture, but what has not changed is the desire on the part of both parents and young people to establish and maintain meaningful relationships, both within the family and outside it."