Can Families Find Balance in a Digital World?

creator (digitalart), freedigitalphotos.net

Last night, while we were in the store, my 3 year old daughter stood in the middle of the floor and cried, “Daddy, I want an iPad, please get me an iPad.” Her tears were real, and I could feel her pain, but the store didn’t even sell iPads. Her meltdown caused me to think. Why is she crying? Is it because she is use to playing with gadgets (usually, educational) all the time? Is she over stimulated by educational toys, so much so that a few quiet moments in the store were too much?

As a wife, Mom, and blogger my world is plastered with┬ádaily digital images. For instance, calendar apps, for each spouse to use so we can be in sync with each other without needing to talk. The latest technology is pushed online through, facebook, twitter, email, and sidebar ads etc. that claim to help make my job as a Mom more efficient. Frankly, if the laundry app isn’t going to actually sort and wash my clothes I don’t think I need it? Although, I enjoy blogging, there is intense pressure to always have a new post or engage others constantly throughout the day. I am a part of “Generation Y,” so I grew up in an era of computers, cellphones, iPods, mp3 players, thumb-drives and the Internet. But when do I say, ENOUGH…no more interruptions today, it is just family time: time for me, my husband and my kids, no digital noise, just silence.

Recently, while my kids were away, I sat on my couch and looked around, I couldn’t hear anything. The silence saddened me and I cried, then I turned on some music because I needed something going in the background. My story isn’t atypical, we are all struggling with how we, as families, can find balance in this digital age?

  • Do we schedule quiet, no tech, time into our daily routine?
  • Do we have rules in our homes for computer and Internet shutdown times?
  • Do we allow our kids 1-2 hours of time for them to enjoy using technology, depending on their age?
  • Do we allow our jobs, co-workers, and friends to have access to us via our smartphones 24 hours of the day?
  • Do we take time to hear silence?
  • Do we let our minds rest, or are we over stimulated within our environments?
  • Do our families know that they are the most important people in our lives or do they think it is our businesses and our gadgets?

Question for you

What do you do to help maintain digital balance within your home and with your family?

Check out this article on the Boston Globe: “Trying to gauge the impact of growing up digital” and share your thoughts below.

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