Why It Works

The Philosophy

We all have a basic need and that is to "connect" to others. We know how true this is because most people list family as what is most important in their life. Even more evidence is how we rely on family during the best and worst of times. In today's hectic and fast-paced world, it's hard to find the time to nurture our relationships. But just like learning a subject in school, a sport or an instrument, relationships also take practice.

FamilyeJournal (FEJ) is an activity to make relationship building fun and easy for the whole family. It's all about answering "everyday" questions and sharing those answers. The closeness and connection will follow naturally so we encourage you to just have fun with it.

The Written Word

The written word is extremely powerful and now that we're used to using it electronically we can really take advantage of it.

First, the eJournal approach uses Indirect, Guided Communication (IGC).

  1. Indirect - You're answering questions from the FEJ database and reading answers your family members provide rather than having a direct, face-to-face conversation (which we also encourage).
  2. Guided - Unlike email and social media where it can be difficult to know where to begin, FEJ helps get the conversation started by asking the questions. All you need to do is answer.

Second, online communication has several disinhibiting effects. For more information on the list below visit: Dr. John Suler's - The Psychology of Cyberspace.

  1. Anonymity – Separating what you write from your real world actions provides a level of dissociation and a feeling of a distinct, online identity.
  2. Invisibility – When your audience isn’t physically present to trade non-verbal communication like disapproving frowns and looks of embarrassment, you’re more likely to write about topics you wouldn’t normally be comfortable discussing.
  3. Asynchronicity – Since you are not interacting in “real” time readers have time to think before responding and writers can maintain a train of thought often leading to a deeper expression of how they think and feel.
  4. It's All in My Head – Written communication is “heard” with your “mind’s ear” where dialogue is free and safe. The safety in your mind may translate to your writing where you are more likely to openly communicate than if you were speaking face-to-face.
  5. Leveling the Playing Field – Online status is mostly determined by your skill in communicating (including writing skills) and the quality of your ideas. Authority is minimized and relationships feel more “peer-like” so you are much more willing to speak (or write) what's on your mind.
  6. Interaction Effects – The online disinhibition effect will interact with each personality differently. In some cases resulting in a small deviation from the person's baseline (offline) behavior, while in other cases causing dramatic changes.

A Little Each Day

The easiest habits to keep are those you practice a little each day. Our data shows users login several times a week for an average of 5-7 minutes per session. When you're regularly connecting with your family members, albeit indirectly, you naturally develop a familiarity and rapport.

We've heard from our members that in a matter of days or weeks their family feels closer and often get along better. Just remember, if you stop practicing regularly, your relationships may begin to weaken again. So stick with it!

Using Today's Technology

We are in constant contact with technology and "connected electronically" but how deep of a connection are we really getting? Studies report that 75% of text messages between parents and their kids are about "when the child should be home". Social media is great for quick status updates but how often are you engaging in deep and meaningful conversations?

FamilyeJournal helps you share what's really on your mind but only with those closest to you; your family. Give it a try today and experience the joys and rewards of a closer family.