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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Facebook Families Vs. E-Mail Families

December 7, 2012, 12:30 PM
Shutterstock_28466176

What's the Latest Development?

Research done by University of Wisconsin-Madison doctoral student Emily Cramer and professor of communication Edward Mabry indicates that families in which open conversation is encouraged tend to use "richer" technologies, such as Facebook and Skype, to keep in touch with each other, while families who prefer to avoid conflict and enforce conformity stick with e-mail, texting, and phone calls. The findings, which were presented at this year's International Association for Relationship Research Conference, were based on a survey of US college students about their preferred forms of communication with siblings and parents.

What's the Big Idea?

Very little research has been done on how family dynamics contribute to the adoption and use of new communication technologies. While students tended to prefer the communication methods used by their parents in general, "students from the...'conformity' families tended to communicate less with their parents than did the students from more 'conversational' families." A separate study revealed that family size also affected the amount of communication that took place, with students from larger families talking with their siblings more often than with their parents regardless of the medium used.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com 

 

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