Parents: Find a balance for your family's digital life

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Technology has become so integrated into our everyday lives. So much that we need to ask ourselves, am I in control of technology or is it in control of me? It's not just ourselves but our kids too. We spend on average 12 hours a day in front of a screen!

Try to think and ask yourself how many hours do you spend scrolling on your facebook/instagram feed? How many hours do your kids spend watching youtube or playing fortnite?

The hours you thought of must be pretty significant, the health risks that come with these hours are too. To name some, risk of myopia and other eye related issues, greater chance of obesity because of lack of exercise, social issues, etc.

Technology isn't bad itself, it's a tool, and like any tool it's how you use it that matters. Moderation and balance is the key to everything, with technology there is no balance. However, there can be with Digital Wellbeing tools.

What is Digital Wellbeing?

Digital wellbeing is a set of tools that help you find a balance for your digital life. Often these tools track how much time you spend on your digital device, what you do on it and help you to impose limits for you and your family.

Google and Apple both have released these set of tools that you can start using now.

Apple and Googles Digital Wellbeing tools

How to start using Digital Wellbeing

To get started using these tools is easy I'll show you.

Android users

Note: Google's Digital Wellbeing tools are only available to those running Android Pie and up. If your not sure what your running just swipe down from the top and look at the bottom left of the menu that shows, you want to see a 9 or up.

Here's a quick video for a more in-depth look into Digital Wellbeing on Android.

  1. Get into your settings menu by swiping down from the top
Android 10 Dropdown Menu

2. Tap on the little gear in the lower right corner, then tap on "Digital Wellbeing & parental controls"

Android 10 Settings Menu

3. Start on your path to a better digital life

Quick benefits of Digital Wellbeing on Android

  • check_circle_outlineKnow how much time you and your kids are spending on devices

  • check_circle_outlineSet limits for the whole family

  • check_circle_outlineStay in control of what you child does and views on their device, lock it too when it's time.

  • check_circle_outlineBlock distractions to help you focus on work or your children to focus on homework.

IOS users

Note: Your device needs to be running at least IOS 12 to use this feature.

I apologize as I do not own an IOS device so I could not get screenshots. However to get to Apple's version of digital wellbeing (called screentime) is fairly simple.

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time
  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time
  3. Tap Continue
  4. Select This is My [device] or This is My Child's [device].

Now you can get a report about how you or your child uses the device, apps, and websites.

Youtube Kids App

If your child has the youtube kids app, you can set limits on how much time your child spends watching videos.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Tap the Lock icon in the bottom corner of any page in the app.
  2. Complete the multiplication problem or read and enter the numbers that appear. Or, enter your custom passcode.
  3. Select Timer
  4. Enter the time you want
  5. Tap Start Timer

In this ever evolving world where technology is at the center of our lives, these tools will become essential in controlling addictive use of tech.