What Role Does Technology Play Within the Family?
Growing up, did your family take vacations together?
It was a yearly tradition for my family to load up the Buick and drive to a destination for a few days of sightseeing. One year, my parents decided to introduce us to the wonders of South Dakota. This was a great idea in theory, but I almost derailed the entire trip with technology.
Well, what was considered technology in the late 80s at least…
Before satellite radio and mp3 players, we had to rely on the radio or a dusty 8 track player. That year I had received a teal boombox for my birthday and a tape of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. That one plastic encased shiny ribbon of tape was all I had to play.
Over and over and over.
While I was having the time of my life, my father wasn’t.
It took a few days, but he finally reached his breaking point. My beloved tape was tossed at a gas station and I sulked in the backseat for the rest of the drive home.
Like it or not, technology plays a significant role in our families’ rides through life.
It’s All In The Family
The familiar saying about how you can choose friends, but not family can also apply to technology. Technology has the power to influence our families positively or negatively- it all depends on how we choose to implement the advancements.
Technology can nurture our relationships, for a positive example, by allowing us to chat, text, or Skype with relatives across the world.
Software can keep us on task and working towards a goal, similar to the way Dad used to as we did chores. We are now able to manage schedules, check classroom reports, pay bills, and order necessities efficiently on top of that.
Similar to the fashionable sister, social media can be used to inspire us and offer us a community to share ideas with. We are able to browse recipes and hacks on media outlets. If we are ever left wondering how many pints are in a quart, technology is there to guide us.
We are also able to get information and stay informed on current events. No longer do we wait for the morning paper or the six o’clock news. We can access weather forecasts with a mouse click. Thankfully, we don’t need to rely on Uncle Norm’s tricky knee to predict a storm.
Like any normal family, there are a couple of “black sheep” in the tech herd. Some apps can be irritating like a pesky little cousin. An air horn app, one that emits blaring sounds when tapped, comes to mind, based on my personal experience.
Things To Consider Before Adopting A New Device
In this day and age, we have so many technological choices that range from smartphones, tablets, robot vacuums, and more! Like my father all those years ago, we are able to discern when and how much technology is allowed into the family car.
Here are 5 tips to positively adopt technology into your family:
Choose compatible products. It’s important to consider what kind of charger, software, and storage services the technology requires. You can make daily life easier by reducing cords and syncing devices.
Create a “drop zone” for your devices. Storing chargers, cases, and devices in one location will make it easier to manage your technology. Morning rushes will be a lot easier if you are organized and charged for the day.
Teach Social Media etiquette and set guidelines for your family. The privilege of technology can expose our families to predators, cyberbullying, and identity theft. Ensure everyone stays safe and respectful while interacting online.
Take a break. People need to learn how to separate from our devices and master time management. Families might consider “power down” hours where all electronics are shut off. Taking a break from technology can help improve our social relationships.
Monitor your child’s Internet and Smartphone with convenient apps. A few years ago, a parent was able to keep an eye on their child’s Internet activity by simply placing the family computer in a common area. Now everyone is mobile, accessing the Internet from anywhere.
Roles Of Technology
Technology was simpler during that fateful childhood visit to South Dakota, but it still had a powerful impact on my family.
It is important to reflect on the role technology plays in our family, because we can’t simply ignore advancements and put them in a corner. From the time humans learned to harness the power of fire, we have been adopting technology into our homes and lives.
Technology, when treated respectfully, can nurture and lift up our family relationships.