The New Digital American Family?

Brad M. Griffin | May 16, 2011

Photo by Pan Xiaozhen

Nielsen recently released a report on the “New Digital American Family.” I have to admit up front that I don’t love that set of descriptors. “Digital family” grates against the hopes I have for my own family and those in our neighborhood and church, yet the depth of digital media’s reach into our homes is undeniably imprinting our relationships.

Remember, this is a marketing company helping us understand how family purchasing trends are changing (primarily for those who want to sell families products). So take this with a grain of salt. The opening sentence, though, sounds like a read on the latest census reports (and indeed is pulling from census data): “The New Digital American Family is getting older, smaller, growing more slowly and becoming more ethnically diverse than at any point in history.”

Check out some of their reported trends, and reflect on what you’re seeing in your own context. How is the use of digital media impacting the family, and how are you seeing that play out? What kinds of ministry responses are most helpful—both in how we communicate with families and how we help them navigate the technological waves sweeping through their homes?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California.


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