[...] Certainly, it's nothing new that kids are plugging in and staying connected. But what is new is that it may be a grandparent on the other end of that virtual tin can—and that technology is bridging the vast age and distance gap that has long divided the generations. "A group of us was having dinner, and one woman had to tell her husband to put his iPod Touch away. He was emailing his grandchildren," says Mary Henderer, a Wilmington, Del., grandmother of four.
It's a perfect storm of demographics and technology.
As a group, grandparents and grandchildren have plenty in common. They have free time, disposable income for gadgets and gizmos, and a keen interest in staying in touch with people.
As for technology, smartphones, tablet computers and digital cameras have made sharing fun instead of frustrating. And the affordability and speed of broadband Internet have made possible activities like video-chatting and streaming home movies.
Mary Madden, senior research specialist with the Pew Research Center, says: "The most powerful force convincing them to take the plunge...is their families. Especially when it comes to their grandchildren, they do not want to be left out of the loop."Read More