January 1, 2022
The benefits of screen time can often get overlooked. Here’s how tech can enrich your family life.
Screen time gets a bad rap when used in excess and in passive ways (for good reason), but there are a lot of positive benefits that can come from online connection. For instance, for the past nearly two years, it saved our workplaces and schools, and helped us connect with friends and family and the world, access the latest news in an instant, and entertained us during the hardest times. It’s not all bad, it just all comes down to how you use it.
In fact, there are even more meaningful ways to use our devices as we set goals and resolutions for a new year. Our devices can help us connect with a community bigger than our immediate circle and help us improve our lives and the lives of others. Studies show that the act of giving back boosts your happiness, health, and a sense of well-being. Here are ways to encourage your kids (and yourself!) to use devices for good.
The pandemic endures but online volunteering can also be a more convenient way to give back beyond it. Find a cause that ties well with your kid’s or family’s interests. Are you a history buff? Check out the Smithsonian digital volunteering opportunities. Animal lover? The World Animal Foundation provides tips for making a difference at home. Parents can even volunteer their professional talents (graphic design, legal help, etc.) via Smart Volunteer.org. Online volunteering can also teach kids valuable lessons that come with philanthropy (goal setting, project planning, not to mention empathy).
Finding a community of people with like-minded interests can expand kids minds to the world beyond home and school. We rounded up interactive resources for kids where they can take fun STEAM classes or enjoy concerts, museums tours, and zoo visits online. Eventbrite and other community-driven sites are hosting workshops on financial health, wellness, and career that parents may also find useful for sticking to 2022 resolutions. Find community events near you too. Many community organizations have continued online events through the pandemic.
Mentoring teens and tweens in Africa through Infinite Family, sponsoring a child in an impoverished country, or even mentoring in your community can be a way to feel connected to others this season. Get kids involved as a way to teach them the importance of serving others and the ultimate feel-good they gain as a result.
Gaming for Good
Got a gamer (or two or three) in the house? Introduce them to the charitable side of gaming through nonprofit organizations like Gamers for Good or by learning more through the Gaming for Good podcast. Kids (and you) can feel good about online gaming while finding a greater purpose in serving others. You may all find that helping others is quite contagious!
Lean into the positives vs. negatives of screen time with Circle. Learn how.