Tackling Technology After Work and School

Tackling Technology After Work and School

If you’re anything like the employees at inBLOOM, technology is an important part of your life. Like us, many companies require employees to be plugged in throughout the work day. We think it’s fantastic because we are able to communicate with our clients at any time, share news, research and write content easily and efficiently. However, because many of us with jobs that require the use of technology are able to be connected whenever and wherever, it can be difficult to unplug during off time. It’s especially difficult to unplug when you have access to email and social media right on your phone, which you probably carry around with you at all times.

Technology also plays a big part in the lives of our children. As the kids go back to school, you’ll see that schools are incorporating more and more technology into the classroom. This New York Times article even notes that a growing number of schools are asking students to bring their own smartphones, tablets, laptops and even their video game players to class. The schools say the students’ own devices are the simplest way to use a new generation of learning apps that can teach them math, test them with quizzes, and enable them to share and comment on each other’s essays. Because our children are now surrounded by technology at school more than ever, they might also find it difficult to unplug.

The truth is the more technology we incorporate into our lives, the more our households are affected on a daily basis. Our absorption in technology limits our availability to communicate with our children and spend time developing real-life relationships with family and friends.

So since we’re constantly surrounded by technology at work and at home, are we doomed? Not if we unplug from technology once in a while and teach our children to do the same. Even if you’re not sitting in front of the computer typing and clicking, you’re still plugged in if you’re constantly checking your phone or tablet.

As Randi Zuckerberg of Dot Complicated says in her blog post on finding tech-life balance, “As parents, we need to remember that we are our children’s tech role models. How can we expect them to use tech responsibly when they’ve grown up watching us text and email all day long?”

As inBLOOM employees with children, we understand the importance of unplugging and have found helpful ways to tackle technology after work and school.

1. Find time to decompress. Shut down the computer, put away the iPad, silence your phone, turn off the TV – just get away from technology for a while. As difficult as it may be to do this, you will feel relieved to get away from the sound of your ringtone and those alerts you receive all day from your email and social media. Spend time outdoors, whether it’s in your backyard, at a park or beach, or on a walk through the neighborhood. A breath of fresh air without any distractions will help you clear your mind and relax. If the weather isn’t so nice, stay at home and read a book or make arts and crafts.

2. Schedule time with your children. With busy work and personal schedules, it’s easy to lose track of time. Yes, the work day is over but you may still be taking phone calls and answering emails while the kids do their homework. You run some errands and by the time you know it, you’re asleep in bed. Surely this sounds like a typical weekday for many of us; however, it shouldn’t be like this. Schedule quality time with your children – and no, taking them along with you while you run your errands doesn’t count. Sit with them while they do their homework and ask them what they’re learning about in school. Or have them help you cook dinner! You’ll not only be spending quality time together creating memories, but also help them build fundamental culinary skills. Get into a routine each day where you can put aside some time dedicated to your children without technology.  Unplugging with your children will allow you to give them your undivided attention and let them know they are valued.

3. Use privacy settings and monitor your children’s use of technology. New social networks open up the door to inappropriate material and conversations, so be aware of how your children spend their time online. First, communicate with them about what is okay and not okay to do on the internet. Set up parental controls offered by your internet provider on all devices –this way you are in control and have a sense of security. See what your children are up to from time to time and talk about the dangers of communicating with strangers online.

We know it’s not easy to disconnect from technology in today’s society, but we shouldn’t be owned by our devices. Give yourself and your children a chance to unplug and you’ll create a better tech-life balance.

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Danielle Thibault
Danielle uses her background in public relations, event coordination and fundraising to gain exposure for inBLOOM’s clients by establishing connections with the media and target audiences. She is most passionate about writing and networking. You’ll never find Danielle without her morning cup of coffee. She is a firm believer that a little caffeine goes a long way!

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