Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Since March 2020, Screen Time Reports have soared as quarantine has moved the majority
of in-person interactions to virtual platforms. Working from home and having technology as the only source of medically safe social interactions has everyone receiving constant notifications of increased technology use per week.
Spending over 40 hours a week on social media applications, entertainment sites, creativity platforms, and e-learning shows first-hand how we are able to handle our need for social interactions and how we have relied on digital devices during these unprecedented times. However, experts have warned about the possibility of long-term health and habit effects stemming from an increased reliance and exposure to online media and platforms. Although technology is an incredible resource for learning, entertainment and communication, digital over-dependence can create issues of anxiety, low self-esteem, and peer pressure throughout a child’s development.
Here are some helpful tips for promoting digital wellbeing in your family and incorporating technology into your everyday life through healthy habits:
Avoid device usage approximately 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.
Invest in blue light glasses to diminish the potentially harmful digital device overuse on you and your family’s health.
Limit device usage during family gatherings such as sharing a meal together.
Have a conversation as a family about what type of online activities or applications have had a positive or inspiring impact on your lives.
Engage in weekly family check-ins to talk about social media, online sites, television, movies, and gaming software.
Create a safe space for talking about any interesting, noteworthy, confusing, inappropriate, or discomforting content anyone might have been exposed to during the week.
Be a role model! If your child sees you are constantly on your phone, they will most likely replicate that same behavior. Take some time during the day to promote device-free moments such as reading a book, playing outside, spending time with pets, and learning new hobbies.
We also encourage you to personalize your digital well-being goals within your family by accessing Google’s habit reflection experience https://wellbeing.google/
Based on your ranking of how distracted you are by your digital devices, how reliant you are on virtual platforms, and what type of digital habits you have, you will receive several personalized tips on how to optimize your digital well-being in a plethora of ways. We encourage you to do this for every member of your family and collaborate on a healthy habit plan together.
Remember that it’s all about creating a healthy balance between your online world and family environment. Quarantine is a challenging time, yet it can also create opportunities to deepen the bonds within your family and increase quality time spent together so that your children may continue to thrive as they grow up into a safe future.