This post is sponsored by Google in partnership with Forward Influence Network.
My Family Spends Too Much Time On Their Phone
Like many families out there, my family likes to take a big summer vacation together. We have visited the mountains, the beaches, but my favorite vacation to take with the husband and kids is a cruise. The reason being may be a little different than most. You see when you cruise, you are in the middle of the water and any sort of internet connection is almost obsolete. With out all the distractions of technology and our devices, we are totally present in the vacation and spending time together.
I hate to admit this, but my husband and I are terrible role models when it comes to balancing our screen time. Of course, I have the excuse that my job requires me to not only work from a computer but also stay on top of current events and the easiest way to do so is to be “connected”. How can I preach to my own family about limiting their screen time when, I myself have trouble doing so? There has to be a balance and I need to find one fast, so I can be the role model my kids deserve!
Finding Balance in Technology
Google wants to help families find their balance when it comes to technology being a part of our lives. They believe that technology should play a helpful role in our lives and our family’s lives and recognizes that this isn’t always the case. That is why they’ve created digital wellbeing tools (google.wellbeing) that helps families minimize distractions during the day, and unplug more easily when they want to. Google also offers helpful resources at google.wellbeing, such as the Family Conversation Guide, expert advice and video content, and a self-reflection tool that serves personalized tips and tools for your unique digital wellbeing goals.
One ofthe biggest eye openers I received when I started accessing my own digital experience is the amount of time I am “connected” daily. After trying the app which monitors the amount of time I spend on my device, I was floored. And truth be told, I can’t even remember doing anything that significantly important when I was on my device most of the time. Along with monitoring the time, you can also see the number of times you unlock your phone daily just to “check” things. I knew I had to change habits for me and my family.
Helpful Tips To Balance Screen Time
- Turn off your notifications – Only turn on notifications for important apps that you need. Facebook is NOT important and turning off all of those notifications will stop you from grabbing and checking your phone everytime you get a ding.
- Keep your phone out of reach – This is extremely helpful in the evenings when it is family time. I have tried to keep my phone in the other room so I am not distracted by it.
- Designate family device-free time – This has been a joy for not only me but the kids as well. We have been putting down our devices and actually spending time together talking, playing games, etc.
- Monitor usage and utilize apps that help monitor usage – Even the most disciplined person can sometimes get lost in their devices and not realize how long they have been using said device. Use apps that monitor and even shut down apps after a certain amount of time. I have used one to monitor my kids YouTube time and this has been SO helpful!
To discover more tips and tools, visit google.wellbeing to find a balance with technology that feels right for the whole family.