This is a partnered post.
No-one’s going to deny just how useful technology can be. Today, we use it for everything, including staying in touch, staying entertained, getting around, booking trips, paying bills..everything! It’s pretty amazing to think that the internet has only been around for a few decades and that we’ve all been carrying around smartphones for even less time.
However, while there’s much to love about technology, it’s not as if it’s not without its problems. There are downsides to tech, just as there are downsides to most everything in life. Nothing’s perfect! While you’ll want to have plenty of tech in your family’s life, it’s also important to take steps to ensure that it works for your family, not against it. Check out the tips we outline below to make sure that’s the case.
One of the downsides of technology is that it doesn’t come cheap. If you want you and your family all to have smartphones, tablets, and laptops, then you’ll be looking at a pretty hefty bill. There are ways to reduce the costs, however. One such way is to look at buying refurbished products rather than new ones; they’re essentially the same thing but cost much less. You’ll also want to avoid automatically upgrading your devices each year — given the improvements are only minor, it’s just not worth it.
Also, be aware of all those digital subscriptions. It’s handy to have accounts for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and so on, but if you have subscriptions for everything, then you’ll end up with a massive monthly bill. Choose wisely.
Limit the Use
Many older adults have a pretty responsible relationship with tech, purely because they remember life before it was a part of their lives. They know the value in taking a walk, doing a non-tech activity, or just sitting with a book. The younger generation? Not so much. They’ve had tech in their lives since they were basically able to use one, and while most youngsters are fine, there are some for whom it becomes a problem. It’s a good idea to limit screen time for your kids and everyone in the family. Could you say that there’ll be no screen time after 7 pm, for instance? From that time on, you can just engage in old-school activities like reading, playing board games, or just talking to one another. It’s what people used to do, and if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.
Staying in Touch
The best way to make tech work for your family is to amplify the benefits that it can bring. For instance, the main advantage that it offers families is the chance to stay in touch with one another, no matter where they are or what everyone is doing. It’s a good idea to ensure that everyone has the same message app (since there are many available) and to set up a group chat. All families want to have greater peace of mind, and this is just what you’ll have.
Keep it Secure
Mobile devices have become so important to us all. Without even realizing it, we’re in a position where we all have a lot more sensitive data on our devices than we ever thought we would when we first bought a smartphone all those years ago. If that data falls into the wrong hands, then any number of bad things could happen. Thankfully, this is a concern that you can easily remedy. Take a read of some essential mobile security tips, and you’ll always have peace of mind that your phone is safe. Even if you did manage to lose it, anyone who picks up your phone wouldn’t be able to do too much with it anyway.
Monitor the Use
Finally, take a look at monitoring the internet usage of your kids. The internet can be a scary place, and it’s all too common for youngsters to end up in a corner of the web they didn’t mean to. The problem is that if they do, they’ll be unlikely to tell you since they might be a little afraid of your response. By keeping tabs on what they’re doing online, you’ll be able to intervene early-on if you think they could get themselves into trouble. You can do so by installing software on their devices and by keeping all device use confined to the social areas of the home. Plus, this might have an added benefit for your bank balance — many kids accidentally end up buying expensive items using their parents’ credit cards.