2021 Resolutions: Using Devices for Good
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2021 Resolutions: Using Devices for Good

There are plenty of good things about screen time that can get overlooked. Here’s how tech can enrich your family life.

There are plenty of good things about screen time that can 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, but there are a lot of positive benefits that can come from online connection, especially at a time when we can’t connect IRL. It all comes down to how you use it. Zoom calls and online classrooms, connecting with friends and family on social, and using tech as an outlet for entertainment are among ways many of us have been able to cope through 2020 and into 2021.

But 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. Here are ways to encourage your kids (and yourself!) to use devices for good.

Virtual Volunteering

Life goes on despite the pandemic and organizations could still use volunteers, even if not in person. Find a cause that ties well with your child or family’s interest. Are you a history buff? Check out the Smithsonian. Animal lover? The World Animal Foundation provides tips for making a difference at home. You can even volunteer your talents (graphic design, legal help, etc.) via Smart Volunteer.org and swap social media time with time better spent giving back.

Community Events

Finding a community of people with like-minded interests can make kids and parents feel less isolated during the ongoing quarantine and beyond. 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 find useful for sticking to resolutions this year. Find community events near you too. Most community organizations have pivoted online.

Mentoring

Mentoring teens and tweens in Africa through Infinite Family, sponsoring a child in an impoverished country, or even in your community can be a way to feel connected to others during this isolating time. Get older kids involved as a way to teach them the importance of serving others. Studies show that the act of giving back to the community boosts your happiness, health, and a sense of well-being.

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 playing 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.


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