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How Technology Impacts Families and How to Take Back Control: Unplug and Be Present with Those Around You!

Dana Humphrey
How Technology Impacts Families and How to Take Back Control: Unplug and Be Present with Those Around You!

We live in a world that is dominated by technology, and these advancements have made a strong impact on almost all areas of our society. For one, technology is making a significant difference in the way kids and parents perceive each other and the world around them. Just like anything else, technology comes with its advantages and disadvantages. 

Our screens and electronic gadgets have changed from just a “want” to a “need” in our life. Many families today would agree that technology has created a family divide. On the flip side, there is no doubt that technology use affords us many benefits. Our devices can open up our world and expand our possibilities within seconds. It’s safe to say that parenting in the digital age has become more challenging in some ways, and easier in others. 


Here are some ways technology impacts families positively: 

Information Overload: Families now have access to a wealth of information thanks to technology. Parents have access to an online world filled with learning material, activity ideas, and parenting tips. In addition, the use of technology has given us the opportunity to broaden our children’s minds. 

Increased Communication: Technology has made it easier for families to keep in touch regardless of the distance. Within seconds, families can reach one another globally. Social media has allowed for parents to stay up-to-date on family events happening in the neighborhood or connect with local mom groups. Plans can be made quickly and efficiently! 

Safety Features: Technology can help families react more quickly in case of an emergency or natural disaster. Is your teen late getting home? Send them a quick text to confirm they are fine. Many parents have greater peace of mind thanks to location trackers. This is giving kids a lot of confidence to travel around and do things independently without the fear of being alone.

Entertainment: There’s nothing better than popping some popcorn and settling in for a movie night with the family! Video streaming, gaming apps, and Facetiming friends and family are all fun ways to learn, connect, and add some entertainment to your life! 


Here is why you need to take back control:

Sedentary Lifestyle: Kids and teens spend more than seven hours a day on their screens. The increasing use of technology in young children has resulted in a sedentary lifestyle with children spending more time indoors in front of screens than they do outside. This lack of exposure to nature and sporting activities has resulted in an obese generation of children.

Social Skills: As children become more connected to the internet and TV, they are becoming less connected in person. Social media and other interactive platforms are changing the way children interact. A number of studies have found that children who have more screen time and less personal interaction are less likely to empathize with others and have a hard time creating friendships. 

Brings us Down: Too much technology use makes kids and adults grouchy. A study done by the Boston Medical Center revealed that parents who get absorbed by email, games, or other apps have more negative interactions with their children. If too much technology does this to parents, imagine how it affects our children’s feelings and emotions! 

Family Time has Decreased: Life in today’s world is just plain busy, filled with work, school, and extracurricular activities. Often, families are spending less time together and more time texting each other in between hectic schedules. When home, it has become natural for both children and adults to gravitate towards screens and gadgets as a way to unwind, which minimizes special time together. It’s also a big distraction! 


What can we do to minimize technology use in our families and homes?

  • Have a set time for technology use for your kids: Maybe TV time before dinner, iPad use for 20 minutes in the morning, etc. 
  • Control and manage your own technology use – Our children are always observing us and “actions speak louder than words!” If you want them to minimize their tech use, then you must do the same!
  • Unplug and be present: Have certain times during the day when there is NO technology involved, like dinnertime, homework time, etc. 

Unplugging may sound great in theory but it’s not always an easy goal to commit to. Once your family decides to make unplugging a priority and there are some agreed-upon policies in place, you’ll need to make time spent offline part of your daily routine. This means phones, tablets, smartwatches, etc. should be turned off and/or put away in a designated spot. 

The Unplug Phone Box Crate from Cades & Birch is the perfect solution to achieving the unplug goal in your household! Simply place your family phones and gadgets inside the box and Presto! No more distracted dinner time, study time, or family game nights. 

Each box is made from wood and is laser engraved with “Unplug.” You then have the option to add your custom text underneath. Some popular choices are family names, or phrases like “Be present” “Study Time” “Be present with those around you” and “disconnect to reconnect”. Cades & Birch offers Unplug boxes in a variety of sizes and wood colors. This item also makes for a unique and useful gift! Check out Cades & Birch here: Cades & Birch on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CadesandBirch

Through disconnecting from the virtual world, your family will learn new skills, reengage with the environment, companions, and recharge. By simply unplugging, you will create new memories together that will last a lifetime. Now that you have read this, put down the phone and just be. There is no better time than now to unplug and be present with the ones you love! 

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Dana Humphrey
Dana Humphrey

Dana Humphrey is a respected life coach, mentor and teacher. She ran a successful PR company for pet product manufacturers for 12 years and was a guest on TV stations across the country from NBC to CBS to ABC to Fox as "The Pet Lady @tm". She received her BS from San Diego State University in Public Relations and Political Science. After moving to New York City she has been a professor of Social Media Marketing at Baruch College and facilitator and adjunct professor of the Pet Product Marketing Program at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). Dana has studied bikram yoga, meditation, vippassana, Latihan, religion, spirituality, plant medicine and pets. She has also completed the NYC marathon, NYC triathlon and an Ironman. Dana was born in Canada, raised in London England and grew up in Northern California. She identifies as a global citizen and resides in Rockaway Park, on the beach in Queens in NYC.

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