Separated Household? Effects of Personalized Communication Devices on Nigerian Families’ Communication Pattern

Ifeoma Vivian Dunu, Gregory Obinna Ugbo


In recent times with the emergence of newer communication technologies, concerns are raised over the possible alterations in family patterns of communication and interactions. This study using survey research methodology investigated the effects of new personalized communication devices (NPCD) on family communication patterns. 400 respondents were randomly selected from families in urban cities in South East Nigeria. Findings show that majority of individual family members own NPCDs with most possessing mobile/smart phones. The result shows that these families have high internet connectivity yet face to face/domestic conversation still appears to be the dominant and the preferred mode of communication within the family units. The result demonstrated a high level of interactivity as family members indicate spending a great number of hours interacting with mostly friends using these devices. Though the study significantly revealed that there is no noticeable alteration in family bond, family communication pattern seems to be altered from collectivist communication orientation to a more individualistic pattern owing to the solitary nature of these devices. Again, effects are still minimal and concentrated in urban areas especially among families that are educated and affluent. We conclude that with the invention of more sophisticated personalized communication devices there will be a rapid incursion into other sections of the Nigerian society and family communication may develop on unpredictable pattern that will lead to a complex communication pattern where these devices enhance communication and connections with family members and at the same time, create individualistic communication pattern.

Keywords: New Personalized Communication Devices (NPCD); Family; Integration and Separation; Family communication; Family Dynamics.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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