As developments in technology continue to emerge, many people are expressing their concerns about their dehumanizing effects. The Internet offers a wealth of information that discusses how technology has driven us to lose our ability to interact and to be present. Its effects are evident on families, where children are spending more time on online games and social apps, while parents do the same as well.
But beyond these effects, many believe technology has promoted family connectedness by helping them coordinate and connect their lives with their loved ones. This is especially true to families who live from each other and depend on technology to keep in touch and share moments even from afar.
In fact, companies are taking this opportunity by using technology to help families send financial assistance or any form of support to their loved ones. One example is the cash remittance service, where a client working abroad can send money to their family back home. There are also messaging and file-sharing apps that allow families to share digital documentation of their day-to-day experiences.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how embracing technology helps foster meaningful family relationships and ways to integrate technology into everyday family life.
Bridging generational gaps
In previous years, critics accuse technologies of expanding rifts between age generations. Millennial children born in the late 1980s and early 1990s became digital natives who grew up skilled and knowledgeable about the language of smartphones, computers, and the Internet.
On the other hand, parents who were born before the emergence of the Internet were understandably slower and clueless to stay updated about emerging technologies. The technology barrier is much worse for older adults or seniors who struggle to stay at par with recent innovations that are currently shaping the global climate. These differences resulted in a clear division between how younger and older people interact with technology.
But as tech companies created smart technologies that are more accessible, user-friendly, and more affordable, they opened many opportunities for the young and old alike. This led technology to completely penetrate every spectrum of human generation.
In fact, companies are now offering technology solutions to aid seniors in their caregiving and entertainment needs. In a report by the American Association of Retired Persons, 51% of older adults have bought a tech product. Some top purchases include smartphones, laptops or computers, smart television, and tablet.
As seniors gain more access to technology, it allowed them to stay connected with younger family members. This works best for seniors who have health limitations and cannot go outside, but want to maintain communication with their families and friends living afar.
Providing family entertainment
Before, families have to purchase heaps of board games and DVD tapes to have a sufficient stock of entertainment options. While they still exist today, tech companies made it easy for families to access movies and gaming systems through their tablets and smartphones. From virtual monopoly, scrabble, and UNO, users can easily access them by downloading games in application stores. There are also all-time favorite family gaming systems such as PlayStation, X-box, and Wii.
Game developers have also introduced game applications for tech-savvy families they can use for game nights. If everyone wants a Friday movie night, they can immediately start a movie night by simply accessing movies through video streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes.
Improving communication channels
This is probably the major benefit of technology among families. Gone are the days when we had to wait for weeks or months before we received a message from a family member living abroad. Having a gadget and continuous Internet connection was enough if you wanted to check in with a loved one.
Today, technology offers various ways to connect with loved ones, from sending texts, making calls, and conducting video chat sessions. From FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, to Messenger, these are some options available for families with a variety of communication needs.
Applications with video chat features offer a different level of interaction that text messaging and phone calls can’t contend with. Meanwhile, social media platforms overcome any limitations when it comes to generational interconnectedness. Regardless of the distance, these programs offer instant communication that no other communication channel can offer.
Indeed, technology has given us plenty of ways to enrich our relationship with family members by facilitating conversations, even through a computer screen. As we become more attune with technology, it is still important that we know when to set the balance in spending time using technology. This way, families will feel more engaged with their loved ones, whether offline and online.