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Survey: Family time eroding as internet use soars


Whether it’s around the dinner table or just in front of the TV, U.S. families say they are spending less time together. The decline in family time coincides with a rise in internet use and the popularity of social networks, reports the Associated Press — though a new study stopped just short of assigning blame. The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California is reporting this week that 28 percent of Americans it interviewed last year said they have been spending less time with members of their households. That’s nearly triple the 11 percent who said that in 2006. Respondents did not report spending less time with their friends, however. Michael Gilbert, a senior fellow at the center, said people report spending less time with family members just as social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are booming, along with the importance people place on them. Meanwhile, more people say they are worried about how much time kids and teenagers spend online. In 2000, when the center began its annual surveys on Americans and the internet, only 11 percent of respondents said family members under 18 were spending too much time online. By 2008, that grew to 28 percent…

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