Why Using Technology at Home Isn't All That Bad (No, Really!)

by Miriam Tocino


The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we're making use of technology at home.

We’ve been completely locked down for some weeks now and, during this time, my kid is learning what Netflix and Nintendo Wii are. "That's normal!" you might be saying. But, here’s the thing.

I’ve always wanted to raise my kid in a tech-free environment.

Life had other plans for us though and that approach isn't working anymore. Because locking down a 3yo at home for a long period of time can change the way you do things. Have you been there too?

In this blog post, you'll hear about what I’m doing to start making use of technology at home with ease.


I first worried about my kid's sudden relationship with technology (remember that I write books about computer basics for kids so that I don't even need to use a computer to teach him about them ;) )

So, before going into panic mode, I looked for ideas on how to make use of technology at home (and be optimistic about it) and I found Sonia Livingstone, a social psychologist that studies the effects of social media and the internet on kids.

Listening to her TED talk on Parenting in the Digital Age calmed me down and I thought that you might find it useful too.

 

In her research, she interviewed families from different backgrounds and asked them to reflect on their parenting.

To her surprise, she found out that some families were actually calm and confident about their child's digital lives.

What I like the most about her research is how she focuses on the positive impact of technology.

These are 3 things she learned from those parents.

#1: They are clear about their values

Parents who are calm and confident about their child's digital lives find ways to support them when using digital technologies.

For example, families valuing creativity are curating computer games that are highly artistic.

Parents that value education are helping their kids with their homework on the computer.

And there are also parents that just value the digital for itself and feel excited about the digital future. "They think that geeks will inherit the Earth", says Sonia Livingstone.

#2: They make decisions together

These families negotiate, they don't impose. And, they listen to their children's views.

And here's the thing that struck me the most.

#3: They share digital pleasures together

These parents make use of technology for family activities, such as playing Minecraft, solving coding challenges together, or taking photographs outside that they can later use in their digital designs.

"So, how can we parent better for a digital future?" asks Sonia Livingstone; and she continues, "As a starting point, I'd like to suggest that we recognize and not underestimate the efforts that parents are already making".

And I'd like to stop here for a second. Because acknowledging parent's efforts is important, and especially now more than ever, when our kids aren't allowed to go out to run and play.

So, listening to her gave me some ideas on how we could make a better use of technology at home.

For example, we're now sharing some digital pleasures together, like learning about animals in documentaries, which he loves. And, we also watched with him his first movie ever! So now he also knows what pop-corns are.

Going ahead, and being married to a video game programmer and knowing that video games will be part of his life, I'm already curating some games that align with my personal values.

making use of technology at home

Now, I'd love to hear from you:

  • Are you sharing some digital pleasures during these days?
  • Or maybe you have an awesome tip for a 3yo.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.




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