New technology has created a new norm for today’s modern family. We have things at our fingertips that we’ve never had before. But we also have challenges that we’ve never had before. Is technology beneficial in bringing your family together? Or is it actually pushing your family apart?
We use technology in our household a lot. Blogging, homeschooling, managing finances, organization, and keeping in contact with friends and family are some of the ways we use it. Add to that games for our kids, and music, and at any given time all five of us could have a device in our hands or screen in our face.
The modern (connected) family
Although we are “well connected,” I am certain we are not as connected as other families. In our household we have the following: three computers (only one is functioning properly at the time—sad huh?), one iPad, one iPod, two mobile phones, two DS’s, one Wii, and one TV. That is not a lot in today’s society. But even without “a lot” of technology, it is very difficult to not let technology come between us.
I’ll be honest, sometimes it can be a problem. We’ve recognized that if not addressed this problem can become major. Here are a few things I’ve learned that help our family prevent technology from pulling us apart. Practicing them can actually bring your family together.
7 ways you can use technology to bring your family together
- Dock your cell phones in your room or office the minute you come home. I have conditioned myself to look at my phone too much. So when I have it I will probably be looking at it, or doing something on it. The best way to prevent this is to put it away.
- Create a regular “unplugged” day. This is the day to spend together having good old fashioned fun. Play outdoors, take a walk, ride a bike. You will find there are plenty of things to do with your family besides Angry Birds or Facebook.
- Predetermine a “tech time” and/or “game day” for your kids. Our kids only play their games and use their tech on the weekends, unless they are working on schoolwork or something related.
- When you do use technology, try using it together. Play Wii, watch a family movie, make a family movie, read a Kindle book, or listen to some songs you can all enjoy.
- Do not bring your cell phone to dinner. I’ve been guilty of this, but I’ve been diligently practicing not bringing it to dinner.
- Put your device down, close the screen, or pause it when someone wants to talk to you. Get your device out of your hand, and out of your site just for the few seconds or minutes your family member wants to talk to you.
- Have all your family members join and connect via social media. Our kids are technically too young to have social media accounts. However, my parents and parents-in-law are active on social media and it is a good way to share photos, events, and other family life. When our kids are old enough I look forward to them connecting on social media, and perhaps even blogging.
Who is in control?
Technology and all that comes with it is great. But like every good thing, inproper use or indulgence can be a bad thing. Use the technology to benefit your family. Remember…technology can be used to bring your family together. You control the tools; the tools do not control you.
When you do this, your family can be one of the positive examples of tech and social media use in a family—all while growing together, and building a stronger family bond.
[reminder]Do you have more ways technology can be used to bring your family and others together?[/reminder]