Can you imagine living your life without technology today?
There are some things in life that we can live without and some things that we just can’t. Technology falls in the latter group.
Our smartphones, computers, and all our other gadgets have become such an integral part of our life, that it practically feels impossible to go even two days without using them at all.
As a society, we have become too dependent on technology. Almost everything we do involves technology in one way or the other.
The effect of this dependency on technology not only affects the adults of the society but is having an even greater impact on the younger generation.
Children and technology go together at ages as young as 3 years old. They basically grow up surrounded by constantly evolving technology.
More than 90% of teens in the US get on the internet every day to use social media and play videos. Which are the two most addictive forms of technology currently.
A survey by The Pew Research Centre revealed that approximately 50% of the teens in major US states admitted that they feel addicted to their smartphones.
Experts predict that this is only going to get worse in the coming years and can cause some serious problems for future generations.
Is the Relationship of youth and Technology Healthy?
Technology has had a major impact on every aspect of society.
There is no denying that it has made our life extremely convenient, safer, and definitely more enjoyable.
Every day, with every passing minute, even as you read this right now, there are new technological advancements being made.
Technology has advanced way beyond mankind’s expectations and imaginations. The more technology has advanced, the greater the impact it has had on society as a whole.
From the innovation of electricity, automobiles, and computers, the entire world has changed tremendously between the 19th century and 20th century.
Everything we do today involves technology in one way or the other.
From our alarms to wake us up to ordering dinner before we sleep and even using apps to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, we depend on technology for everything.
It’d be foolish to deny that technology has helped us tremendously in the last few decades.
But there are indeed pros and cons in matters of relation between children and technology.
Our Dependency On Technology And The Internet Is Getting Way Out Of Hand
The tech industry has played every card right in order to ensure that we as a society are addicted to technology. Due to this, there’s a change in everything we do. From how and what we eat to how we travel.
It has even had an effect on how we communicate with each other.
We, humans, are social creatures. We need to interact with other humans. It’s a part of our nature.
However, technology is slowly chipping away at the need to actually interact with other humans in person.
For example, the creation of social media has allowed people to engage with thousands of other humans whom they don’t even personally know. You can create an entire social circle of friends online that you’ve never met in real life.
This is taking away from real-life relationships. You can even notice this around you. Especially if you have children.
Parents in rich countries spend a lot more time with their kids today than they did 50 years ago. But phones are increasingly creeping into those interactions, impacting their depth and quality.
This research published in 2019 by The Pew Research Centre, revealed that almost half of the American population is on their smartphones constantly throughout the day.
Parents’ increased smartphone use has experts concerned about the potentially devastating consequences this might have for the development of babies and toddlers.
As a parent, how you use technology can set the tone for the relationship between your children and technology.
The new generation is growing up in a completely digital world, one that we ourselves are only getting introduced to. How we take care of our technological dependencies will go on to shape their future.
9 Examples for Fostering the Healthiest Relationship
Children are quick learners. They notice everything you do and pick up all your habits along the way.
So, the easiest way to get them to follow something is to practice it yourself.
You’re sure to have come across the “practice what you preach” principle. It’s time to apply that in real life now.
If your child sees you using your phone on the dinner table, or responding to a quick e-mail while eating a meal, you’ll soon find the following in your footsteps and doing the same thing.
So, if you want them to have a healthy relationship with technology, then the best way to do that is by leading by example. Here are some tips to help you with that:
Have A Digital Detox Hour Every Day
Schedule an hour every day, at everyone’s convenience to have a digital detox every day. Your children and technology should be farthest away during this time.
During this time, all gadgets in the house will be turned off. You can either choose to spend time together during this time or everyone can be free to do whatever they want.
You’ll be surprised at everything you can do in an hour without constant technological distractions.
This is a good way to start the practice of digital detox and get everyone used to it.
No Gadgets Allowed On The Dinner Table
How often have you sat to have a meal with someone, only to end up spending more than half of your time on your phone?
This is a common practice that most of us are guilty of doing every once in a while.
To put an end to this, make it a rule that no gadgets are allowed on the dinner table.
If you don’t carry your phone, tablet, or laptop to the table, the kids will soon follow suit.
Pick A New Activity/Hobby Every Month
A teen in the US spends approximately 7 hours on their phone every day.
The easiest way to reduce this screen time is by encouraging them to partake in other activities.
If your kids see you being active and taking part in various activities, it’ll also encourage them to do the same.
It’s important to remember that, you should force your child to do activities that you enjoy. Instead, give them the freedom and space to choose their own hobbies and activities that they’d like to partake in.
Practice Open and Healthy Communication
If you want your kids to listen to you, you need to first practice open communication.
When trying to get your child to limit screen time, you need to first communicate with them the reason for this.
Just asking them to use their phone less or switching off the WiFi won’t work. If they want to get on the internet, they’ll always find a way.
So, it’s important that you properly communicate with them and make them aware of the negative effect technology is having on their life. Educate them on the pitfalls of technology, so they get a better understanding of why they should do what you’re asking them to do.
When you build a healthy communication channel between you and your child, it will also make them feel more comfortable to open up to you in the future about anything they’re dealing with.
Block Access To All Adult Content
With pornography widely spread all over the internet, porn addiction is on the rise.
Kids today come across adult content on the internet at the age of 7. This is an extremely dangerous and alarming fact.
Pornographic content can seriously damage young impressionable minds.
To avoid this entire situation, you can block access to all adult content on all devices in your house. This greatly reduces the chances of your child coming across porn even by accident and getting addicted to it in the future.
Porn websites and all the pop-up porn ads you see on the internet are all infiltrated by viruses and malware. By blocking porn, you’re protecting your entire household from any possible cybercrimes.
Make Screen Time A Privilege
It’s better to make screen time a privilege rather than a right in your household.
As a result of being surrounded by technology 24/7, we start to take it for granted and don’t value it enough.
Set a screen time limit at home and ensure everyone sticks by it. Especially you. Only if you follow the rules you set, will everyone else at home follow the rules.
If there’s a limit on how much you can use technology, you’ll begin to realize its importance again in your life and stop taking it for granted.
Spend Time With People In Real Life
One of the biggest pitfalls of social media is social displacement. Relation between your children and technology shouldn’t come at the cost of relations in real life.
Social displacement refers to the problem of spending so much time online that it begins to take away from your “real-life” time.
We often spend so much time on social media apps and sites that we don’t realize the time we’re losing with our friends and family in real life.
So, make a conscious effort to spend quality wholesome time with your friends and family offline. Make it a hard rule that you do not pick up your phone unless absolutely necessary when spending time with friends and family.
Focus on being present in the moment rather than posting an aesthetic story on your Instagram page.
This is one of the biggest downfalls of social media. The toxic environment it creates has the potential of severely harming a person’s mental state.
A study showed that social media users got increasingly more sad as they continued to use social media more. This is due to the toxic competitive culture of social media.
When your children notice you comparing yourself and your life to others on social media, they will also follow in the same footsteps.
Make it a point to eliminate comparisons from your life, be it online or offline.
No Internet Before Bed
The current generation has the highest cases of social media right now.
The reason for this? The constant use of technology right up to the moment you fall asleep.
We have all developed this habit of mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching random videos on Youtube before we fall asleep. This is an extremely harmful habit.
It not only harms the eyes but also severely impacts the sleep cycle. The light from the screen along with the anxiety and mixed feelings that social media usage usually creates keeps you from getting good sleep. 4 out of 10 millennials in the US admitted that they experience sleep disruption as a result of addictive social media usage.
To get rid of this problem. Make it a habit to put your phone away at least one hour before you get into bed to sleep.
If you find it hard to put your phone down if you’re too used to spending time on YouTube before bedtime, we have the perfect guide to help you put an end to this problem.
This is the best approach you can take to ensure healthy relationship between children and technology.
If you practice what you preach, your children will follow along automatically.
This holistic approach not only ensure your children’s’ safety but also keeps your own social media in check.
Just like children, adults too need to ensure they don’t get too caught up in the toxic environment of social media. So, this is the best way to ensure your entire household’s digital wellbeing.
Social media can be extremely useful and enjoyable, while also being extremely negative and toxic. It all depends on how you choose to use it.
Try your best to establish a healthy balance between social media and real life. This will have a huge positive impact on both your life and your family.
We hope our curated tips help you achieve your goal of establishing a healthy relationship with technology in your household.
Do let us know which tip you’re most keen on implementing!
If you have any more suggestions or tips, drop them in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!