July 8th, 2021 | Updated on October 8th, 2021
It’s easy to pick on screen time and tech gadgets as a threat to your family dynamic. Tech-related concerns like isolation, poor manners, and distractions are all accused of cutting into family time. However, the truth is quite different than these generalized notions imply.
The Myth Of Tech And Mental Health
It’s easy to point fingers at technology as a primary reason modern families struggle to connect. But the facts don’t bear this out.
A longitudinal study published in the Clinical Psychological Science journal found that, so far, there is “little evidence for increases in the associations between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health.”
The study was the result of decades of data that have been compiled since 1991. This offers a serious rebuttal to the constant speculation that tech is tearing families apart and feeding into the divide between teenagers and their parents.
Positive Uses For Tech In The Family
Rather than seeing it as an antagonist, parents should consider how tech can be used as a positive tool in their family’s interactions. Take a minute to consider the power that tech has for good in your family life.
Here are a few suggestions for ways that tech can help rather than hinder bringing your loved ones together.
Staying Connected and Safe
Before you consider the more playful side of tech, it’s worth considering its logistical prowess. Tech can be utilized in simple ways that help keep your family close and connected.
If you have older children, for instance, you can use tools like Skype and Zoom to stay connected from afar. Even close kin who live in the same house can stay in touch when away from home by using their devices to text and call one another.
Safety is another factor to keep in mind. Technology is infamous for giving children unrestricted access to adult-level activities via phones, tablets, and the internet, in general.
However, there are multiple ways that you can work around these problems while still using tech to your family’s advantage. One good example is Gabb Wireless.
The company creates kid-friendly smartphones that limit things like internet use while still maintaining connectivity, cameras, and other basic functions.
The goal with safe solutions like these is to allow families to benefit from increased connectivity via tech. It does so by equipping children with parent-approved devices with plenty of benefits and minimized risks.
Finding New Hobbies
Another great way to use tech beneficially in your family is to find group hobbies to engage in together. A few great examples of this include:
- Using software like YouTube or a Stop Motion program to create movies together.
- Recording music on an app like GarageBand.
- Listening to audiobooks together both in the car and at home.
These are just a few easy options. The wonderful world of tech is always finding new ways to have fun together through a digital device.
Tech and family don’t have to be combined to the exclusion of everything else. In many cases, you can use the combination of the two to enhance another area of life, as well. Take exercise as a good example.
You can use fitness tech to stay active as a group. Hook up fitness trackers and set goals together. Report to your family members as you keep each other accountable and work toward your goals together.
You can even add some fun into the mix, as well, by getting something like the Nintendo Ring Fit to gamify your exercising experiences.
If you’re a larger, active group, you can also use an AR game like Pokémon Go or a GPS-driven geocaching app to get out and about as a family.
From fitness and hobbies to connection and safety, there are plenty of positive ways to integrate tech into your family activities. Along with the logistical and physical benefits that this offers, each activity can also help bring your family closer together.
So resist the temptation to blame all of your family’s woes on technology. Instead, consider where you can turn the tables on the stereotypes by using tech to actually bring your family closer together.