(NY Times A Year at War series) Staying in Touch With Home, for Better or Worse

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The communication gap that once kept troops from staying looped into the joyful, depressing, prosaic or sordid details of home life has all but disappeared. With advances in cellular technology, wider Internet access and the infectious use of social networking sites like Facebook, troops in combat zones can now communicate with home nearly around the clock.

They can partake in births and birthdays in real time. They can check sports scores, take online college courses and even manage businesses and stock portfolios.

But there is a drawback: they can no longer tune out problems like faulty dishwashers and unpaid electric bills, wayward children and failing relationships, as they once could.

The Pentagon, which for years resisted allowing unfettered Internet access on military computers because of cyber-security concerns, has now embraced the revolution, saying instant communication is a huge morale boost for troops and their families. But military officials quietly acknowledge a downside to the connectivity.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments Posted February 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

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