You would be hard pressed to find a home in the U.S. that doesn’t have a connected device somewhere inside. As of March 2016, over half of internet-connected homes have at least one device. But, the more impressive number is that the average American home has 7.8 connected devices according to The NPD Group.
Think about your home. A mom and dad each have a smartphone, teenagers could add an additional one or two smartphones. More than likely, there is at least one connected home computer, a streaming TV stick, a smart TV, or multiple ones. There’s a good chance the home includes an e-reader and a tablet of some sort. There’s a minimum of six options in that scenario alone.
With so many ways to connect, we’ve built a richer and more informed environment. Ideas are shared in an open forum that allows for greater collaboration, and the answers to some of the hardest questions can be found in an instant. Friendly arguments are won and lost through a simple search query. Tonight’s dinner is made from a quick finger scroll of pinned recipes. The latest holiday decor is inspired by a blog post from some woman eight states away whose home was perfectly staged for pictures at that very moment. Good or bad, our lives are already influenced, and sometimes dictated, by the technology that surrounds us.
No matter what you’ve read before, technology is inherently good. There is vast sharing of knowledge. Things that were once at the far reaches of the universe are now close enough to seem a part of our everyday life. More importantly, our families are connected in ways we never thought possible. There is an endless supply of opportunity to maintain connections, foster growth, and become the kind of person one could only imagine.
Even teenagers, who are stereotypically non-talkers to parents and older family, see the positive effects technology is having on their communication with those groups. A recent study found that 70 percent of teens think technology increases the quantity of communication between themselves and family living far away, 67 percent also believe it increases the quality of that communication. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Creating a better family dynamic. Developing a sense of camaraderie and supporting the opportunities to be together.
Technology is not bad. Let’s say that again. Technology is not bad. You shouldn’t be hiding your devices and punishing kids for wanting to use what’s so inherent in their lives. It’s important to let technology do what it was made to do.
Connect. Build. Support. Enrich.