How do 21st-century families pass their evenings? Discuss the pros and cons of the 19th-century and 21st-centuries entertainment modes.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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First it should be noted that there are almost 7 billion people alive in the world. People in sub-Saharan Africa villages, large Chinese cities, or North American suburbs have very different lifestyles. Forms of entertainment vary not only with location but with income; a poor family in Venezuela will probably not have the season tickets to the opera possessed by a rich family in Italy. 

The major changes in forms of family entertainment and lifestyle that have occurred are far more dramatic in wealthy people in urban areas in rich, technologically advanced nations than in poor people in areas lacking electricity and other modern technology.

Among the middle and upper classes of wealthier nations, typical family size has decreased dramatically, with families consisting of two parents of different genders and their biological children becoming a minority. Extended families living together are less common in the 21st century than they were in the past.

As work outside the home is increasingly the norm for parents, and electronic devices have proliferated, a traditional middle- or upper-class family dinner, including prayers, conversation, and perhaps reading is less common and electronic entertainment more common. The creative elements of family entertainment, such as people playing piano and singing, playing charades, and reading aloud, have been replaced by more passive forms of entertainment, in which family members consume mass media rather than creating their own entertainments. While the freedom of family members to follow their own interests is positive, the lack of creativity and lack of parental influence on children is problematic. 

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