Modern technology has its ups and its downs. But, do the benefits of technology for families outweigh the negatives? Let’s take a look…
These days, technology receives a lot of bad press. Granted, it can sometimes feel as though we’re a society of zombies glued to our phones. That said, we can’t deny that technology has brought with it so many positives which sometimes go unacknowledged.
In fact, the benefits of technology in human life are rife. On a superficial level, it has the possibility to bring families together through new and exciting toys, games and experiences. More fundamentally, though, technology also has some fantastic benefits to help separated parents communicate with their children.
So, is technology a detrimental curse on society, or does it prove to be a force for good for families? To discover more about the advantages of technology for families, with some working examples along the way, read on…
The Benefits of Technology for Families
Although there are many reasons to complain about technology, we often forget about the amazing things it can do. For families, the advantages of technology are as follows…
1. Helping Parents Communicate With Their Kids
Our first, and most important, advantage of technology for families is that it can help parents to communicate with their children, even when they’re not together. In fact, parents and children can not only communicate via telephone, but can now also communicate face-to-face, via interfaces like Skype, Facetime, and Google Home.
In practice, there are a number of reasons this may be useful:
- On one level, it can help families who are separated a lot due to work. Working away from home can be a struggle, but technology now enables fathers and mothers to speak to their children every day, even when abroad!
- On a deeper level, technology can even help breach the gap between separated parents and their children.
A Working Example of Where Technology Can Help Parents and Children Communicate
Let’s take an example of this in the case of unmarried fathers…
The rights of unmarried fathers can limit parental rights over a child in some ways. For example, if a father wants to have their child live with him, take their child on holiday with him, or even just see them briefly, they may need to wait for a court order.
With the help of technology, unmarried fathers are still able to connect with their children regularly, even before the court’s decision.
2. Bringing Education Into the Home
Another great benefit of technology is that it’s also revolutionising the world of education. Interactive whiteboards, years ago, were just the tip of the iceberg! Now, school children have the world at their fingertips, using smart technology throughout their schooling career.
But what about outside the classroom?
Well, some of the many family benefits of technology in education include being able to bring parents into their child’s schooling world. Previously, a parent had to rely predominantly on their child to relay their homework tasks, for example. These days, a parent can keep track of their child’s impending deadlines, ensuring that they don’t fall behind.
3. Keeping Your Children Safe
Another really great use for technology is to keep tabs on your children to make sure they aren’t in any danger. For younger kids, mobile phone apps are now available to limit the child’s access to the internet, and other potentially dangerous interfaces. These apps can also prevent your child from messaging unwanted numbers, so you are able to vet who their contacts are, and make sure they aren’t in any peril.
When it comes to your older children, it can be a little invasive and inappropriate to have apps like these. However, there are certain location apps available which are great for ensuring your teen is where they’re expected to be. For example, if they’re attending a party, event, or night out, you can ensure they get home safely.
A Working Example of Where Technology Can Help Parents Keep Their Children Safe
For someone who may not be in a child’s life all the time, like a separated parent or unmarried father, location technology can be very useful. By allowing parents in these positions to keep tabs on where their children are, they can feel safe in the knowledge that they are in good hands.
4. Helping Busy Parents Cope
The day-to-day life of a parent can be overwhelming, but technology could remedy many difficulties parents face. With smart home technologies becoming more intuitive, peoples’ worlds are changing completely. Some examples of this include:
- One of the most exhausting parts of the day can be cooking dinner after work, when your children are starving and you’re on your last legs. Smart technology reads your recipe read out loud as you cook, so you can can handle the children and the meal without worrying about dirtying a book or smart phone.
- Being able to control the in-house heating, lights, and other electronics through voice activation. So, if your kids are trying you, and you have no hands free, you can simply say your command and it’s done!
- You can also install home security which responds to smart technology, so you can make sure everyone in the house is safe, even when you’re not home yourself.
Here’s a great article on how to stay safe on the internet.
5. Providing Entertainment That Everyone Can Enjoy
Some parents may hear the words “video game” and sigh in disapproval. That said, video games don’t have to isolate your child in their bedroom. In fact, there are a number of brilliant video games that are family-friendly and can prove a lot of fun for everyone.
The Wii is a fantastic example of this; although it’s perhaps a little dated these days, it was absolutely made for multiplayer. Be it Mario Kart, Just Dance, Wii Party, or the like, these games are fun for all ages, and bring out that competitive side.
As a parent, technology doesn’t have to be your worst enemy. You have the power to utilise it to your advantage, helping to bring you closer to your children.
6. Connecting with Children Before They’re Even Born
Modern technology just keeps on giving when it comes to medicine. On this vein, expecting parents are now able to view their new child in 3D animation, before they’re even born! This provides the most amazing connection with your child, pre-birth.
A Working Example of Where Technology Can Help Unmarried Fathers Become More Involved
For an unmarried father, who may not necessarily be involved with the birth of their new child, this technology can come in handy. By providing the expecting father with a 3D animation on their phone, they can feel more involved with the child, whether they’re attending the birth or not.
Disadvantages of Technology for Families
Although there are certainly many benefits of technology for families, we can’t forget that technology has a number of disadvantages too. Some of these include:
- Internet safety can’t be guaranteed.
- Face-to-face communication could become limited.
- Attention spans of children can be tainted through technology.
- Children can be exposed to social media and may have problems with their body image and mental health.
- Without the proper guidance and restrictions, children could end up spending a lot of your money through their devices via in-app purchases.
These are just a few of the disadvantages of technology for families. There are certainly a lot of potential issues to be concerned over when inaugurating technology into family life.
That said, with many of the positives above, it’s possible for parents to take control of technology within their home, and put their own twist on how their family uses it. Who knows, it could become your greatest ally.
Is Technology a Force for Good?
So, those are the advantages and disadvantages of technology in society. When you look on the positive side of everything, it’s clear that the benefits of technology outweigh the disadvantages. It all depends on the way you view it, and in making sure you utilise it to its full potential.
What do you think about technology for families? Do you think it’s a beneficial addition to homes, or are you anti-technology?
For me, I think a balance is the way to go. After all, technology is part of our lives, whether we like it or not.
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