How do you keep in touch with your kids and grandkids? It’s not always feasible to talk on the phone, especially when you are traveling oversees or working hectic hours. Thanks to smart technologies, keeping in touch with your family has never been easier. From texting on iPhones to Google Hangouts, today’s families are using modern technologies to communicate and stay connected in a way like never before.
Does all of this technology hinder face-to-face interactions and social involvement? A 2015 report from Ericsson Consumer Lab
found that "less talk, more text" is the new normal in family communication, resulting in closer and happier ties between the children and parents. It added that "the majority of families claim they communicate more using such technology, know each other better and that it makes practicalities and logistics much easier during the week.”
While nothing replaces a mother-daughter hug or playing football with Dad, there are ways to be more involved with your children and parent's lives through social media and smart devises. We wanted to share four reasons why you might consider parenting your children and socializing with family digitally.
1. Quick And Effective Communication With The Kids
Have you liked your kids' pictures on Instagram? Have you seen what your family is posting on Twitter? It’s a great place to stir up conversations and provide a platform for your expressions. You can use words, pictures, and videos to share your views and concerns with your family members, and it might just help you understand each other better. I personally use Facebook to reach out to my family in order to communicate thoughts that I think can help me express comfortably by sharing posts and pictures.
2. Teach Your Kids About Their Digital Image
Communicating with your kids on social media is a positive way to parent because it helps your kids understand the importance of their digital profiles. They'll understand that if Mom sees a post than everyone will see it too, including Grandma! Your college-aged son or daugher will think twice about posting that picture of a drinking party or a less than artful bathroom selfie. (Oh dear...)
Not only will you be up to speed on the latest trends, you will remain a parent gently guiding your kids in the right direction. Even my mom is my friend on Facebook. She practically knows everything about my life as I share my on-goings on social media.
3. Create A Virtual Family Room
Social networking sites like Facebook and Skype have helped bridge the distance between family members, especially for those living far away. Share a playlist between siblings on Spotify, or create a family YouTube channel. Sharing everyday slices of life through pictures, videos, and virtual calls help connect emotions and spark conversations by creating a virtual family gathering spot. Using technology provides the platform to uphold the fabric of family bonds. It feels like magic to connect and share moments with your prized family members, including your parents and kids. I know it has changed my 70-year-old grandmother’s world since I gifted her smartphone last Christmas and taught her how to be socially active on it. We are now constantly in touch with each other and never miss sharing a single special moment of our lives.
4. Keep Your Long-Distance Relationships Strong
Back when I was a kid, I used to see my cousins every summer. Not that we're adults and living very different lives, it's tough to keep in touch. Unfortunately, it can feel a little awkward speaking on the phone too, since we have not seen each other since we were children. But that doesn't mean we don't care about each other. I am able to see photographs of their toddlers and have warm exchanges around the holidays. In this way, the next time we see each other (which I hope is soon) we will still have a relationship to draw upon, even though we have been apart and living very different lives for over a decade. How do you feel about modern communication within your family?