The Impact of IT in the Home

Recent advances in information technology have caused a number of changes in the way that people communicate and spend their leisure time.


Improvements in communications technologies have meant that it is now far cheaper for families and friends to keep in regular contact including.

  • E-mail: allows you to not only send text, but you can also attach files, or links to web addresses where other information can be displayed or downloaded.
  • Internet telephony/VoIP: using a computer and internet connection to send and receive sound allows you to take advantage of phone rates that are far cheaper than international lines.
  • Instant messaging: allows you to ‘chat’ by typing in real time with other people online at the same time as you.
  • Digital photographs: are shared by family and friends much more easily via CDs, telephones, email and websites - and if people want an extra printed copy, they can do it themselves.


With new technologies, people have new ways to do a variety of things:

  • Shopping: with a credit card and an internet connection, you can order food, clothing, books, book holidays or participate in auctions for antiques, all without leaving the comfort of your own home, or at 2.00am when local shops may be closed.
  • Hobbies: users can interact with other fans via message boards, read news about the latest craze or even create their own website or fanzine using applications software.
  • Learning: you can now buy packages to help you learn a new language, revise for exams, become a better typist or just look up interesting facts in multimedia encyclopedias.
  • Media: you can record and distribute your own music (and design the CD cover), create and edit your own movies and animations, write a play (and perform it online as a podcast for others to download) or create your own computer games.


  1. List three reasons why people use new technologies to keep in contact with eachother.
  2. Your cousin is thinking of producing a magazine about model making. Discuss how using a computer could help him put together and distribute the magazine to its readers.
  3. Describe two problems that.people sometimes have with online shopping.