The new year brings new opportunities to improve the way technology is used. Yes, that means no more phones in bathrooms, more compelling app alternatives and more.
In the past year, we have devoted quite a few articles to the impact of technology, especially here we mean social networks, children. Research has shown in many cases that reducing technology use can have a positive effect on teens. Of course, this also applies to everyone else, which means that adults can think in a similar way.
Let’s look at some of the ways we can all come together in 2022 to create healthy habits when using technology.
Each family member can determine for themselves how much time they spend “looking at screens” and think for themselves about technology use practices that apply to them. For Apple’s iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows devices, we can get information about how much time we spend on the devices with just a few clicks.
If you have any enthusiastic “players” in your family, ask them how much time they spend behind a screen per week and believe me, the information can amaze you.
Of course, there is no need for everyone to address all of the decisions below. All you have to do is choose the ones that you think are best for you.
Let the kids decide how much time they spend in front of the screen
He says that making rules about technology use is more successful if the whole family is involved in the decision-making process Susan GronerParenting guide. “What if we taught kids to control screen time themselves?“
Ask the children how much and what type of time they would like to have in front of the screen and how they intend to control it. Then let them run it themselves for a week. Then find out what worked and what didn’t. Were they able to do homework, chores, and other activities? Did they sleep enough? Was the watch monitoring successful and should the alarm be set?
It may take a few weeks for you to find out – if any – but Groner is right that this approach gives important lessons about time management. In addition, children are more likely to follow the rules they set themselves.
Agree on when and where to use the equipment
With consistent rules about when and where you can use your devices, you can resolve many conflicts. For example, if the family agrees that there is no phone at the dinner table or in the bedroom at night, then there is no need to argue about it.
Susan Ariko, a digital health coach, decided not to carry the phone to the bathroom anymore. “I want to get rid of this feeling of having to have the phone with us all the time.”Ahla.
Minimize the use of technology through gamification
If your family has a racing series, use it to your advantage, he says Chris FlackCo-founder of UnPlug, a digital health consulting firm. Parents probably give up two hours a week to spend browsing Instagram, and kids cut back on TikTok by the same amount. Whoever reaches the goal gets pizza and losers get sandwiches. Of course, this is just an example and an idea, but Flack says that in many cases, the gameplay works very well.
Choose a time for non-tech activities
It’s not enough to express a desire to spend more time outdoors or read more – set that time and maybe include it in your routine. On Saturdays you can make time for family outings, and on other days to read together.
Compensation for screen time
To allow for other decisions, such as more readings, you can compensate with it. For example, when kids are reading or doing their homework, give them the same amount of time to browse the iPad.
Make small daily changes
If you find the whole day without a screen too daunting, cut back on screen use each day. If you reduce your technology use to two hours a day throughout the year, you will get back an entire month of your life. Consider ditching the hour you spend in the morning checking the news (or switching to podcasts) and the hour you spend in bed in the evening browsing Instagram. The latter is easier if there is no telephone in the bedroom.
swap activity in front of screens
You may want better quality and less screen time. If your kids are constantly watching videos on TikTok or YouTube, add specific content to them, such as a Netflix smart show. Also consider turning off the Netflix auto-play feature. Or let them watch something useful – maybe even boring. “If the program is less attractive, they will turn to the book, “He says Nicole Rawson, founder of the Screen Time Clinic, a network of digital health coaches.
Block devices during family movie night
A movie night can bring family together, but looking at phones while a movie is on isn’t in your best interest. The mere fact that devices are in sight during personal communications reduces the quality of interaction, Flack says. This is known as the “iPhone effect” and it occurs regardless of whether the phone is turned on or off. He suggests leaving the devices in another room while lounging at a favorite show or movie.
Avoid social media until noon
Ms Arikova claims that starting the day without checking Twitter or Instagram helped her gain more self-control in her use of social media.
Find a social alternative
We don’t need to be part of huge social networks to keep in touch with friends and family. Once we find an alternative app or a smaller social network, we can free ourselves from the politics and drama we often encounter on other, bigger platforms. Danny GronerA marketing manager from New York deactivated his Facebook account on December 31 and replaced it with Substack, where he shares his thoughts with a much smaller group of people.
Let your device settings help you
A useful feature on most new phones is, for example, Do Not Disturb when we want to focus on activities like sleeping or something else. As part of iOS 15, this feature is part of the new “Focus” setting. You can select specific people or apps that you want to receive notifications from while others remain silent. Android devices also have Do Not Disturb settings. However, you can use the phone settings to limit the time of using the most addictive apps.
Choose video calls or voice calls instead of text messages
When you want to communicate with someone or. Tell him something and think about it and don’t decide on texting right away. You can also leave cute text messages on the fridge for the kids. Like in the old days…
So, whichever of the above methods you choose, write them down on a piece of paper and add a plan for how to implement the method. This way, the whole family will be up to date all the time.