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Technology ruining the family vacation?


Technology ruining the family vacation?

A new study looked at the impact of technology on lives and found that electronic devices are destroying family vacations.

Between all the digital distractions for families and parents who stay connected to work at all times, 47% of North American (U.S. and Canada) parents agree that technology is ruining the family vacation. This is according to the Tech Timeout™ survey conducted online by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Foresters™. Additionally, more than half (51%) of North American (U.S. and Canada) parents find family members’ use of electronic devices on vacation annoying.

Because of statistics like these that show we are interacting more with our digital devices than with each other, Foresters, an international financial services provider committed to enhancing family well-being, created the Tech Timeout challenge. It encourages families to take a daily, one-hour break from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents, and children build stronger bonds and get more involved in each other’s lives. By pledging to take a Tech Timeout while on vacation, families can have more time to relate to each other on a more personal level.

Whether families travel over summer or enjoy a staycation, this powerful video produced by Foresters highlights the encroachment of digital devices in our lives.

The following includes selected highlights and methodology from Harris Interactive.

Tech Timeout Survey
Conducted online by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Foresters

Selected Highlights

Statistics Regarding Vacation / Time Off (Total Sample – U.S. and Canada)

  • 51% of heads of families find family members’ use of electronic devices on vacations annoying.
  • 47% of heads of families agree that, between all the technological distractions and parents who stay connected to work at all times, technology is ruining the family vacation.

Statistics Regarding Vacation / Time Off – Among those who are employed (Total Sample – U.S. and Canada)

  • 64% would like to be able to leave work and not have to respond to emails and requests when they are at home
  • 43% agree that electronic devices make it impossible to truly “leave work at work” and be fully present for their family
  • 40% would make a New Year’s resolution to “leave work at work”
  • 38% feel compelled to respond to work issues after work hours, on weekends, and/or when they are on vacation
  • 34% say their employer expects them to respond to emails after hours
  • 32% agree that they can’t leave work behind when they are on vacation
  • 30% feel compelled to check their cell phone during business meetings


This Tech Timeout survey was conducted online within the United States and Canada by Harris Interactive on behalf of Foresters between October 10-22, 2013 among 1,507 residents of the United States and 1,021 residents of Canada, aged 25-55 years who live with at least one family member. Of these respondents, 693 in the U.S. and 492 in Canada are parents of children under age 18. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Susan Perkins at sperkins@bvk.com.

About Foresters

For 140 years, Foresters™, an international financial services provider, has fulfilled its purpose to enhance family well-being for its members and the communities where they live. A fraternal benefit society, Foresters offers quality life insurance and investment products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit foresters.com, facebook.com/foresters and techtimeout.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client’s research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.