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Media meshing ... has it saved the family unit?

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Ever found yourself watching TV and then tweeting about it? Or jumping onto FaceBook to put up a post while watching a programme? It does seem that the family are coming together again, forming a family unit in the living room .... just like our parents and grandparents did.

Only now the family are forming a digital hub. They might be physically in the same room but, with the explosion of smart phones, tablets and laptops, each of us seems to be in our own little world.

Offcom’s Communication Report 2013 tells us that families are still assembling in front of the TV in the living room but the stark truth is the kids will be texting or posting and at least one of us might be tweeting or using Instagram or searching the Net for products, holidays, insurance etc.

This puts a new slant on the web designer; he or she has simply got to produce websites that will display in an aesthetically pleasing way on every single one of these devices. More work but ultimately potentially more rewards.

James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said: “Our research shows that increasingly families are gathering in the living room to watch TV just as they were in the 1950s – but now delivered on bigger, wider and more sophisticated sets. Unlike the 1950s family, however, they are also doing their own thing. They are tweeting about a TV show, surfing the net or watching different content altogether on a tablet.

“Just a few years ago, we would be talking about last night’s TV at work or at school. Now, we’re having those conversations live while watching TV – using social media, text and instant messaging.”

  • 80% of UK adults have access to the internet at home via a fixed or mobile broadband connection or via a mobile handset.
  • Laptop and desktop internet users spend at least 35 hours online each month. Men spent the most time browsing online, especially those aged between 25 and 34, who spent an average 47 hours and 42 minutes online per month in April 2013.
  • A fifth of mobile internet users have purchased goods or services from their phone, increasing five percentage points to 21% between April 2012 and April 2013. Of the activities relating to retail that mobile internet users were asked about, the most popular was using their handset to find a retailer’s location (25%).

So responsive websites have now become a must-have in order to compete for the family business!

For a fly-on-the-wall we might look like we’re all one big happy family but the truth of it is we’re just meshing about.

Source: Offcom

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