Parent Talk
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Technology: Friend or Foe in Family Life?

Families around the world at one point or another have felt the disconnect between parents and children, and even between the adults, which is why we all felt the joy from the Dolmio Pepper Grinder advertisement when it shut off all the electronics in the house, leaving family members with no choice but to converse at the dinner table. Despite technology’s ability to connect others living in different parts of the globe, ironically enough of our devices have this ability to handicap people in social situations, directing our attention to keeping the whole world in the loop instead of focusing on the people right in front of us.

But people often forget that there are two sides to every story. While mobile internet can distract us from family time, when used correctly our smartphones and tablets can benefit and even strengthen family bonds.

Image Credit: visionaries.viavisolutions.com

Before the age of smartphones, we had to rely on phone calls, texting and refrigerator calendars to keep up with our kids lives. But thanks to all the developments in mobile technology, free texting apps and online calendars such as Google Calendar are constantly keeping everyone in the loop, allowing parents to rearrange schedules or plan accordingly to attend recitals and tournaments. Another positive feature of technology is the ability to connect relatives from all over. A recent story of two sisters separated by birth who found each other through an online bingo portal and Facebook reminds us just how powerful the Internet is, and that social media platforms can be applied as a means to find and keep in touch with family from far and wide.

Of course, it’s always good to have a balance of tech use in the household. Banning gadgets during mealtimes but allowing them in the living room after dinner will allow everyone to be physically present in different situations, without being too strict on mobile internet usage at home. One father claimed that his iPad was the reason why he spent more time with his family, as it brought everyone in one room to play games, read, and watch videos all together rather than doing their own activities separately in different rooms.

What do you think of technology in the household?

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This is a guest post from Selena Ning.

Selena is a mother of three girls who are all obsessed with their phones. This used to annoy her, but after getting to know the apps available in the market, she learned how to embrace technology and use it to improve family time.

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Hi, my name is Abigail a stay at home Mama of two LittleOnes and currently residing in Dubai, UAE since 2009. This is my little space online where I share activities, places we've been, food we enjoy and snippets of our daily expat life. ‘Cuddles and Crumbs’ is a combination of the two main things I share on this blog: cuddles (family) and crumbs (food).

8 Comments

  1. A thought provoking post indeed. I do feel we can get quite carried away with our phones sometimes, which is why I tend to limit all our times on electronics and monitor how much we use it during the day. Being a blogger definitely doesn’t make it easy at all, when social media is part of our work! Still working hard on getting that right balance though…

    • It is a daily struggle to find the right balance. We use a lot of compromising in our home “finish your responsibilities first (like homework and chores) then a little online time after. Technology has helped us a lot and it can be quite scary too.

  2. Limiting technology use is so important to maintain a peaceful family life. Adults and children alike need these limits.

  3. I feel the same as Zeyna, it’s easy to restrict usage for the kids, we do give them limited time to watch iPad or TV but I think I also need to impose and discipline myself in this area too! Thanks for the reminder…

  4. I’m with limiting tech use for both children and adults; but do agree that tech is a very helpful aspect in almost all means of our daily lives

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