Father Son Around Campfire Talking

How Technology Is Killing Our Day-to-Day Relationships

In this consistent age of technology, I think it’s time to discuss technology addiction and how it affects our daily lives. According to a new study published in the journal Pediatric Research, parents who use technology during family time may be adversely affecting their kids’ behaviors and overall relationships with them. Parents who use their phones or watch TV during daily family activities like meals can provoke bad behavior in your children which can hinder their emotional growth and personal relationship with you.

This type of digital interference during family time has been coined “technoference” which is described as everyday interruptions in face-to-face interactions because of technology devices. Whether that means someone being on their tablet during a meeting at work, your husband on his phone during dinner, your son playing Xbox while your trying to have a conversation with him, or your teenage daughter spending her evening in her room FaceTiming her boyfriend.

Technology is a great advancement in our society and offers great convenience to our daily life. Checking emails. buying groceries, getting a ride, booking a hotel stay, banking remotely, and FaceTiming with someone 1000 miles away has become so easy and practical that we can’t imagine a world without it. However, with the great power of technology, comes the inevitable responsibility. “Electronic device use likely deprives parents of the opportunity to provide meaningful emotional support and positive feedback to their children which  causes their offspring to revert to even more problematic behaviour such as throwing tantrums or sulking,” according to a study report posted on Science Daily.

As parents, we also need to lead by example when it comes to prioritizing our digital life with our physical and emotional life. Children are like sponges and even if they aren’t feeding off what we’re doing right now, they will be sooner or later. If they see you on your device morning, day, and night, they will see no issue with themselves imitating the same behaviors. I know that sticking a tablet in front of your children for an hour while you get ready in the morning or while your cooking dinner can be much easier than dealing with the hassle, but this can cause some issues now and later during their adolescence. This is especially pertinent for toddlers because according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “the most rapid period of brain development takes place before age 3…The primary way young children learn is through verbal communication that technology simply cannot duplicate.”

Now don’t think I’m saying we need to abandon all technology in our lives and begin living like cavemen, but we need to be self-aware about how, when, and where we use technology and our devices in our daily lives. So the next time your child yells “look at me”, put your phone down, look at them with a smiling and inspiring face and wave at them and I guarantee they will soak it up and their self confidence will thrive now and into the future.

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