Technology is a powerful tool that used to connect people with education, communication, and entertainment. The influence of social media and technology affects every family in many ways. The greatest argument is whether the rapid growth of technology is positively or negatively affecting the relationships we have.
From Toddlers to Teens
Smart devices have an endless amount of apps that can be downloaded for kids of all ages to play and interact. Two and three-year-olds are learning shapes, colors, numbers, and letters; supporting the skill development that parents are already trying to instill in them, and all from easy to download free apps. Parents see kids learning more at a younger age than anyone ever thought was possible.
Children ages spend an average of 7.5 hours a day, seven days a week on technology. Whether the time is devoted to social media, internet research, or communication, children are regularly involved with technology. Even classrooms are becoming more engaged with current digital technology.
A lot of classrooms around the United States have computers, tablets, and smart boards at the student’s disposal. More than half of a child’s school day is filled with the use of technology in some way. The digital world is creating a much higher standard for what kids are supposed to know. According to the American Psychological Association, the average person living in 2012 had a higher IQ than 95 percent of the population in 1900.
How Parents Use Technology
Tech has a slightly different role for parents than children. It’s how parents use tech and social media that has a significant effect on the dynamics of the family and influences the relationships between parents and children.
Many parents are guilty of using technology as a babysitter. When out to a restaurant, shopping at the mall, or attempting household chores, parents engage their children in games on a tablet or stream a movie to hold their attention. Although this may seem negative, it, in fact, can add to the chance for more communication. Follow-up questions make people use their brain to recollect prior knowledge. The same lesson can be applied when kids are involved in games or movies on their device. When the shopping trip is finished, ask children questions about what they played or what they watched. Similar to flashcards, children will have to connect and remember certain events.
Married Versus Single
The single parent community trails behind married couples in the use of technology. According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of single parents use technology as compared to 80 percent of married parents. This gap is credited to the simple fact of yearly income. A single parent income is typically lower than that of a married couple, forcing single parents to opt out of a costly internet bill or even the cost of owning a computer or tablet.
When they are online, single parents spend their time on games, instant messaging, or just for fun. Married couples spend most of their tech time on gathering health information, buying products for the home, and financial information. They are more likely to use technology to spend and manage their money online.
Kimberly Lewis is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education. She taught science at the Warren County Alternative School before choosing to continue her love of writing as a freelancer while at home raising her two children.