10 tips to be a happy technological family

Our lives are surrounded by technology. At work, school, car and, of course, at home. Who else and who has less in your home a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, a video game console, a smartphone or several devices at once and with an Internet connection.

Children have all these devices at their fingertips, we just have to teach them how to use them, because our digital natives do it almost intuitively. However, in what we have to put our five senses in teaching them how to use them well.

Decalogue to be a happy digital family

The most difficult part of all this is not learning to use the devices, but everyone in our family can use them with judgment. That is why we propose a decalogue of tips that can help.

1. Educate by example. Adults are the reference and children imitate everything they see. Therefore, the best teaching on how to use technology is in the example. If we want to know how children are going to behave in front of a computer, it is enough to look at how their parents do it. If a parent is checking the mail and the quotation value of their shares when it is time to set the table, it is most likely that their child will end up doing the same but changing the email through the chat on social networks or the quotes for a game.

2. Technology is not an end. It is a tool that allows us to enjoy through the senses, but it is not the most important thing in our life. Not even the second most important. To the extent that we treat technology as a means to other ends (having fun, learning, working, communicating *), it will occupy a place in our life that will not conflict with our duties and our family life.

3. Corresponds to everyone. Proposing our preferences together we will achieve a criterion that allows us to always choose well, both the contents and the schedules. Parents must develop guidelines and must supervise, but everyone can participate in some way.

4. We all meet the standards. It is essential to establish standards for the use of technology at home. From what content can be seen to who can use certain devices, we must implement clear and simple criteria for the whole family. Only in this way will we achieve an efficient and mature use of technology at home.

5. Technology has a space. It is convenient to place the screens in view of everyone. Thus, among other things, we favor shared and responsible use.

In the past this was easier, since only desktop computers existed. Now we have laptops, netbooks, tablets, mobile phones, etc. With these devices it is more natural to change rooms. But precisely for that reason it is more important to give a space to technology: make clear where it can be used and where we do not want it to be managed.
Although at first it may be expensive, assigning a place for the use of technology will avoid excessive use alone, a bad choice of content, lack of sleep, etc.

6. Technology also has a schedule. It is convenient to establish a schedule that helps us to use technology in moderation, without wasting time. When we enter the view and always present in an attractive way, technological content absorbs our attention so much that sometimes we do not realize the passage of time. But we should not allow it to take us away from sleep, to delay the schedule of meals at home, to leave us not enough time to do our homework or to scratch out minutes that we should dedicate to our family or our friends. A schedule of use at home will greatly facilitate the coexistence between all and with technology.

7. Appropriate contents. Before we start using technology we have to know what content we are going to see and if it is appropriate for our age. Just as we do not let our children zap on TV "let's see what there is", we should not let them zap on the Internet, let's see what they find.

Parents should be up-to-date as much as possible about these contents. Because not all video games are appropriate for any age, nor all web pages. That does not mean that they should be present each time a child turns on the computer. But if they must know what they do, ask their children, discuss things with them and, ultimately, help them to have a criterion that they can then use autonomously.

8. We protect ourselves. Not only viruses are enemies! Possibly it is the least important enemy. There are other content that we must avoid and for that we have to defend ourselves with both antivirus and filters. In the market there are many and very good ones; some of them free.

Filters protect us all, not just the smallest ones.Unfortunately, the Internet shelters millions of web pages that contain pornography, violence, erroneous health advice and very inadequate content. * It is not difficult to run into something of this without looking for it. That's why a good filter will avoid major problems and will give us more peace of mind when navigating. Most filters can be configured, so that you apply some criteria for adult users and others for children.

9. Together it's more fun! Sharing technology makes it more entertaining and entertaining everyone. Today there is a huge range of content designed to participate in a group and most of the videogames allow multiple players to interact simultaneously. A moderate use, within the scheduled time, low standards and in the appropriate place, will make the whole family enjoy.

10. There is the beyond ... of technology. In addition to TV, computer, mobile and video games, there are many other ways - compatible with technology - to have fun, both at home and with friends. Achieving a balance between all these things is the goal and you should not think it is difficult. Many families get it every day following these 10 tips and others that will surely be lacking and, above all, with a lot of common sense.

Jaime Sánchez-Carpintero


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