Featured Image Caption: Effect of Technology on Family Relationships
Technology has evolved very fast since the late 2000s. Although lots of progress has been positive, it seems adults haven’t been good at handling the challenges of technology at homes or workplaces.
I am a parent myself and I feel smartphones and other gadgets have increased the gap between my kids and I. One of my friends suggested me to check Spectrum TV packages and consider getting cable so that we can have family movie nights together. It’s a good solution but we need to understand the problem here.
Technology has now added a new dynamic to parenting – how to hold meaningful communication and develop a strong relationship with their children. This is getting harder because technology is towing away family bonds.
How is Tech Affecting Our Relationships?
Let’s review these challenges in detail.
The Communication Gap between Family Members
Let’s be real, technology no doubt is great at making long-distance relationships work but it’s making people in the same room distant from one another.
Parents are abandoning their roles and children are using technology to fill this gap. A study by the Proceedings of NY State Communication Association says that technology can hinder interpersonal relationships. People don’t take the time to meet family members or friends. Instead, they choose to chat and call. The bond that used to happen because of real conversations does not exist anymore more.
The same study revealed that children are having a hard time expressing themselves because they are spending so much of their time on social media and video games. They are slowly losing touch with the real world. Tech gadgets have widely damaged communication within family units. Parents aren’t initiating conversations with their kids like they used to.
Before the invention of computers and smartphones, kids used the home phone to communicate with friends. This always happened under strict parental supervision. Smart devices have provided kids with unwarranted independence. Most parents don’t really know what their kids are up to.
Parents are not involved in their kid’s lives as much they used to. This in itself is dangerous. It could expose your kids to malicious friendships.
Mealtime and Technology
Most arguments at the table today stem from technology. Shared meals are a critical center point of family life and connection. It’s one great opportunity to bring the family together.
The best way of stopping this is to gently place a boundary on tech at the table. Don’t impose the role all of a sudden. Start by saying hey, we don’t always get much time to chat. Why not stop using devices at the table. Your kids might not have a problem with that. If you don’t have family meals, start small. Maybe commit to one mealtime per week.
How to have Family Bonding?
Everything about technology is not negative. If used right, it can also bring your family together. TV, the Internet and even playing games on a game console can help. Here’re some tips:
You and your kids can gather around the TV to watch a show as a family together. It can also be a movie about anything your kids like.
You should be turning off the TV during mealtimes so that everyone could talk. It’s important to set a time when everyone can watch TV together.
Take this as an opportunity to cuddle with your kids on the couch and enjoy your favorite snacks together. When you watch TV with your kids, this gives you the opportunity to guide their program selections as well.
It Could be a Conversation Starter
Certain topics aren’t easy to discuss with kids. Subjects like bullying, sex, and drugs are awkward to talk about. Often, they turn into one-sided lectures where parents do all the talking. If you choose programs that address sensitive topics, it will become a launching pad for more discussion. You can take this opportunity to discuss the reality of situations like (drug abuse or teen pregnancy) with your kid.
Even watching movies together can provide a great sense of protection and warmth. It gives other family members the idea they can be trusted. This happens when a barrier between family members is removed. Movie time is also a great venue for laughter. You can create memorable moments and hence build a relationship with your kids.
Be a Role Model
The tech irresistibility is present in parents as much it’s present in kids. It’s hard to let go of your phone or stopping yourself from binge-watching your favorite show. How can you teach healthy habits to your kids if you are engaged in all this yourself?
You can use technology to put a limit on technology. Time limit apps are a good example of that. At the same time, set boundaries so that your kids can respect the boundaries you impose on them.
There is no point in running away from technology. It’s going to stay here longer even longer than us. You cannot shut yourself or kids from technology. Since I added cable TV to our Charter Spectrum Internet, we have been having a much improved relationship and time as a whole family. You just have to set healthy boundaries and create a practice to talk to each other without involving technology (sometimes).
By Alex Brian
is a content strategist at Spectrum internet and has keen interest in technology and sports. He absolutely enjoys educating people out of his experience. He is constantly writing to enable his readers to achieve their set goals in Technology, Content Marketing and Influencer Marketing.