As parents, you may think that your kids are spending a lot of hours with digital technology like smartphones and tablets. You might even catch your teenagers rolling their eyeballs at you when you try to reprimand them about using their phones at dinnertime. But the reality is that technology has affected almost all areas of family life.
The World Wide Web and the thousands of electronic gadgets that companies are releasing year by year have given families with choices that we could never have imagined ten years ago. I, for one, could only remember having a very hard time when my husband worked in a different state during the 90s. There were no cellphones then, so I had to wait for him to get home before I’d get to talk to him and ask how his day went, or if my kids missed their dad and wanted to hear his voice. Now, I can easily talk to my college kid through Skype or Face Time at any time of the day to see how she is. Technology has indeed helped improve relationships in terms of communication.
It has also brought about improvements in several other aspects of family life, and this includes education, child growth and progress, business, and work. Below, we take a closer look at the ways that prove how the family has taken advantage of digital technology.
A lot of families have adapted the digital way of life to attain a much better work-life balance. Previously, work meant long travels and being stuck in the office from 8 ‘til 5. This has changed through the advent of remote access systems, email, and social media platforms, which have made it possible for us to have a little leeway with staying long hours in the workplace. Employers have embraced the idea of giving their employees the choice to work remotely or telecommuting. These work-at-home setups have allowed a lot of families to spend more quality time with each other, plus saving them thousands from childcare costs and transportation.
Housewives and working moms no longer need to go out of the house when they need to withdraw money and pay their bills. They can subscribe to their bank’s mobile app, and lo and behold; they can do all their transactions in the comfort of their own homes!
Technology provides us with the opportunity to gain more knowledge whenever we want to and wherever we want – as long as there is an Internet connection. A long time ago, people would keep themselves updated about local and international events by purchasing newspapers. Women would learn new recipes by reading books and magazines and making notes out of them. For students, finishing their term paper meant spending painful hours at the school library, searching through card catalogs, and whatnot. Now, in the online era, different software applications, ebooks, and virtual libraries make it so much easier for us to learn something new in just minutes. Students now can even pursue other courses that were not accessible to them years before by just searching online.
Teachers, too, have taken a step forward in the way they teach their lessons. They also use the computer, interactive whiteboard, projectors, and video presentations to conveniently hold their classes and give instructions for homework and projects.
Digital technology has blessed us with easy access to hundreds of movies, series, and interesting shows that are available on your phones or smart televisions through the Internet’s streaming services and applications. In many ways, this has managed to bridge the gap between families, friends, and significant others, keeping them entertained together and strengthening their bonds. Couples get to bond with their favorite romantic comedy, while teens and parents can watch a great family movie after dinner.
If you are not that tech-savvy, you might be hesitant to use some of the devices and gadgets that look easy when the younger generation uses them. Well, read these tips to help your digital life a little easier than it used to.
- If you want to play online games with your kid, try the tablets first. They’re handier than the laptops and have bigger screens than the smartphones, so they’re just perfect for gaming and learning too.
- Find games that are fun and appropriate for your child’s age. Remember also to choose games that are educational and enriching as well.
- Always find time to bond with your child through online games. You can commit to making it a regular thing, like weekends.
- Be patient and eager to be led by your child when it comes to these things. Letting him share his forte with you will help boost his self-esteem.
If you are a parent, it is natural to be anxious about the negative effects that digital technology can bring to the family. Of course, there are dangers in sharing family life and everything on it to the online world, especially to the children and the teens that may not yet completely understand what it means to be exposed. For this reason, you must be obliged to educate them about it, including the limitations of using technology.
Technology does provide opportunities for the whole family to discuss issues with their kids like the fact that as parents, they must know what their children are watching online, or concerns about privacy and cyber-bullying, among others. By knowing all these and having an understanding with your children, you can help them avoid the possible harmful effects while reaping the benefits that the digital world has opened for all of us.