The advancements in technology have made a strong impact on almost all areas of our society. It is making a serious difference in the way kids and parents perceive the world and each other.
Have you ever thought about the impact of technology on family time?
Even when one can highlight how the reach of technology is breaking barriers between parents and kids, the other side of technology is almost creating a family divide. Most of the technologies we use today have changed from the perspective of just a ‘want’ to a ‘necessity’ in one’s life.
The technology has moved forward from simple computer gaming, SMS, chatting or emails to assignment completion tools and video calling. Parenting in digital age has now become more challenging than ever before.
Here let us have a look at how technology has affected our families both positively and negatively.
First we can go through the positive impacts of technology:
- Coordinate change of plans: In the early days, there was no point of informing the family members if the day’s plan got changed. One has to go directly and inform them if they can’t make for the function, movie or dinner out. Now technology is offering a good assistance to coordinate the change of plans with just a message or call. Kids can let their parents know if they are staying late at school for some extra class without getting them worried.
- Reach family in trouble: The location tracking facility is now of great help to reach the family in case of any trouble. If kids come across some mishap during their way, the location tracking facility helps parents to reach them as soon as possible. This is also giving kids a lot of confidence to travel around and do things independently without the fear of being alone. Technology is helping kids to grow up as independent persons without depending on parents for each and everything.
- Interaction with family groups: The new messaging apps have options to set up family groups where one can interact with all members of their family despite where they are. Even the distant family is now more connected with social media groups rather than just interacting only at some events or birthday or marriage functions.
- Home security systems: The safety within home with modern security systems has added more peace within families. The emergency alarms as well as the quick response options help to bring the police or the correspondent authority to be at the place at the time of a robbery or a fire. Having a feeling that the people and home belongings are safe gives you a more peaceful sleep.
- Parents engaging apps in school: Most of the parents will be busy with their work schedules and find it difficult to make a visit to the school. The parents engaging apps have come to the rescue as they can virtually be present in school during all the activities of their child in campus. They can maintain a good relationship with teachers through communication apps and school portals and learn more about how their child progresses in schools.
- Virtual presence with video call: Some parents are too protective about their children and won’t allow them to stay out of their reach. However, with video call options, a person can virtually be present near you when talking. Even if it demands to stay abroad or in some distant places during your career, one can still be in close touch with the family through daily video conversations.
Now it is high time to know about the negative results of today’s technology which happens just because of the way we use them. Here are a few of them:
- Too much screen time: The situation prevailing currently in almost every household- If there are four members, each of them will have a personal screen with which they spend most of the time. When parents and children come back after office and school at the end of the day, it is important to interact with each other. It helps maintain a personal bond and fosters empathy for the apprehensions of the other.
- Lack of quality time: It is important to share some quality time with your family. Today’s reality is that even when parents pretend to play with children or share some family moments, the emails or chatting is taking half of their attention. It is important to switch of your devices for at least an hour or two and spend some quality time together. The habit of bringing work home is one of the main reasons for many failing relationships as this compromises time for intimacy.
- Poor face-to-face interaction: Today the mode of communication has drastically changed from direct face to face communication to merely chatting. This seriously affects children as they will have poor face to face interaction skills when they grow up As they spend most of the time with screens, people will have only limited experience of proper interaction with humans which can lead to a shrink in the level of confidence. This can severely affect the professional performance of a child who is brought up in such mechanical environment.
- Interrupted family time: It is good to share at least a meal together to have a good bonding with family members. The morning breakfast is used to watching everyone rush to make it in time for school and work. The dinner time too is interrupted by technology with people choosing to eat as and when they finish of chatting or working. Even if they have dinner at the same time, everybody will be giving their half focus on their personal screens.
- Limited outdoor activities: The detrimental lifestyle with lack of proper exercise and unhealthy eating habits is the prime reason for most of the problems. Technology has a real impact on the way people have changed the healthy habits. As people are busy with their gadgets, they have no time for outdoor activities. The sedentary life style is seriously causing health issues for people of all ages. Kitchen and cooking is a rare sight for junk food is just a call away. Children now prefer computer games to outdoor games which add the problem of unhealthy eating.
- Setting wrong example: Parents would advise children to go out and play and they sit inside the home with their screens. If Parents do not practice what they preach, the child won’t follow. It is important to teach kids by setting good examples.
The right decision would be to add the right mix of technology in your family and experience the pleasures of both. Technology was invented for the good of mankind and so it is our duty to utilize it responsibly.
Parents can guide kids to enjoy the life rightfully by weighing the pros and cons of technology. Even schools are realizing the negative impacts of overuse of technology and taking children out of the four walls of the classroom to give them an opportunity to interact with the nature. Technologies have made life really easy for us as information to anything under the sun is available at our finger tips. However, we should understand that even when technology has made this a better place to live; we should not compromise human values while enjoying it.