• Expired: Is Technology Helping or Hurting Quality Time?

    Expired: Is Technology Helping or Hurting Quality Time?

    Technology: Helping or Hurting?

    For many families, time spent on technological devices like smartphones, tablets, and gaming systems rack up more hours of attention than person-to-person interactions. This lack of face-time gives good cause for concern. However – plot twist! – some technology can actually help families stay close.

    What the Critics Say

    Critics of technology rail against overuse of our phones and tablets; they argue that relying on technology for emotional intimacy may increase our sense of feeling inundated and empty. Overuse of anything can, of course, have a negative effect on one’s life, and most families should consider monitoring the amount of time spent using technology. Setting a date for your family to spend technology-free time together can help families that would otherwise go off in their own cyber-cocoons.

    Technology-Free Quality Time

    Great examples of technology-free quality time include board games, outdoor physical activities, and cooking a healthy dinner together. There are countless benefits from cooking dinner together as a family, such as learning healthy eating habits and nurturing the family connection. Even our brains reap the benefits, as time spent face to face talking with family not only strengthens our neural circuitry for human contact, but also helps ease the stress we experience in our daily lives, protecting the medial temporal regions that control emotion and memory.

    Technlology: Keeping Families Connected

    Can technology itself actually help family time? Sometimes. Video chat programs like Skype are wonderful tools for keeping families connected; for instance, cooking dinner with your family can take on a whole new dimension when you Skype grandparents in for advice on a recipe. Smartphones can be used with affordable projectors for far less the cost of movie theatre tickets for a family, and can be a more leisurely way to enjoy and discuss a film with your loved ones. There are also multi-player game apps available for your smartphone that feature innovative ways to have a board-game-like experience.

    Sharing Content Among Family Members

    Families free to enjoy their own devices and interests online are likely to share content when in the same room.  The family cyber-cocoon can be surprisingly interactive and provides a medium for families to know and acknowledge each other’s interests. Sharing in this way is helpful with engaging discussion and exploring topics of concern. Once a balance is made of time and interests, technology can indeed nurture quality time for a family.

    Have any family-friendly technology ideas? Share them with us and feel free to browse daily deals on our Cookie’s Kids Facebook and Twitter pages!

    Sources:

    Family Party Apps – USA Today

    Quality Time, Redefined – NY Times

    Family Dinners are Important – WebMD

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    seneca-iscove

    Seneca A. Iscove is a blogger and frequent contributor to CookiesKids.com. Born and raised in NYC, she affiliates with other fairies and Jedi on the never-ending quest to find the perfect time to write. A mass media enthusiast and truth seeker, Seneca admits that she likes cookies-but prefers birthday cake!

    Topics: All, Parenting

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