We all struggle to be the best parents we can be, but it isn’t always easy, especially with a never-ending stream of digital distractions coming in from all angles.
In a recent article for the indispensable parenting site/forum Fatherly, who often draft in the assistance of specialists to give parenting advice, editor at Fatherly HQ Jonathan Stern conducted an interview with Tech Journalist Manoush Zomorodi and wrote about several ways in which to reduce information overload in the home; particularly when it comes to the kids.
Through Zomorodi‘s quotations, Stern examines the intrusion which technology places upon our daily lives, particularly with regard to the ceaseless accessibility we all have to it by way of smartphones, tablets and laptops. Gone are the days when the family computer was an item which had to be reserved (provided no one was using the phone at the time), but we haven’t fully stopped to consider the encroachment upon our personal lives (and psyches) which has taken place over the last decade.
He references the lack of filters which exist in social media, something we also touched upon in a recent feature, and how the addictive compulsion to keep ‘scrolling and swiping’ through our feeds and pages is intentional. Stern cites apps which can help us manage our online time with a regimented discipline which we may be unable to impart upon ourselves, EG:
- Freedom – Block apps and sites that you find distracting. Just don’t block Freedom. Then the universe as we know it would cease to exist.
- DND – Do Not Disturb is already on your phone and your Mac. Hate notifications in the middle of the night? Use it.
- Headspace: A meditation and mindfulness app. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that growth of technology tracks alongside the growth of the mindfulness / yoga industry,” says Zomorodi.
- Focus – Another app that will shut down the Facebook tab you can’t shut down yourself
- Time Out – Simple reminder that will tell you to take breaks from your phone. Good timing too, because you’re about to push your stroller into traffic.
Zomorodi and Stern also shortlist some awesome tips on how to really connect with our kids, with suggestions ranging from sharing a passion for vinyl together to being transparent, . For the full interview, head over to the main Fatherly page.
This is one of the most insightful pieces which we have read in a long time and we can’t recommend it enough. Just make sure that you put the phone down when you finish scrolling through.