Monday, July 22, 2013
Are you tired of seeing headlines tossed around like “technology tears families apart,” “as tech time increases, family time decreases,” and “fractures in family life blamed on technology”? I know I am! It seems that a lot of the societal ills and problems that we’re facing today automatically get blamed on technology. And I suppose there is a good reason for this. A lot of technological devices and gadgets that we use are what I like to call “solitary devices.” That means they encourage more “alone time” because the very nature of the device is that we use them without the aid of others. But I’m here to tell you that not all technology is like this. There is a range of technology that can be used to enhance and even initiate, social interactions.
Here’s a list of five of my favourite gadgets that bring families together:
Obviously, the iPad is the big one here, but any tablet device works beautifully. What I love about tablets is that there are a range of apps for these devices that actually make sense to use in conjunction with others. For example, a range of classic board games such as checkers, chess, and Scrabble all translate beautifully to tablet devices. Oh, here’s a thought! Family game night around the tablet. And with less clean-up too!
Want to play tennis or go bowling but can’t get out of the house to do it? Want to spend an evening go-karting but don’t have a venue nearby? Want to let angry family members whack at each other as hard as they can to release tensions? Enter the Nintendo Wii. This baby can do it all…
GPS Tracking Devices
This one is simple. Parents love knowing where their children are. The peace of mind is amazing. Kids love being able to get where they’re going without getting lost. Parents love that children get to where they’re going without getting lost. It’s a win-win!
Smartphones with Video Capability
Away from family on a business trip for a long time? Take videos with your smartphone to share experiences with family when you return. Miss the spouse, the kids, or even granny and auntie Em? Use your video capable smartphone to place a video call and see the faces of loved ones any time you want.
Yep, now you can share your memories with your family for generations and you can create memories for them as well. It’s a simple idea really. Just wait until ten or twenty years from now and you or your child pulls out these videos…
Obviously there are a lot of reasons that technology can limit family “togetherness.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. This list is a wonderful example of just a few of the ways that family time can actually be enhanced by technology. But even this is not the limit. Be creative, think of your own ideas. I’m sure you can find tons of creative ways to use technology to enhance your family time. Just be certain that if you have tech devices that you use frequently, you’ve got a reliable insurance policy such as Protect Your Bubble family gadget insurance in case an unfortunate accident befalls your valued device!
Laura Ginn is a professional blogger who regularly writes on the topic of technology. She loves to write about the unusual ways technology can enhance our lives that we may not always consider.