Sharing Tech Boundaries with Family + Friends

You’ve done the work. You’ve thought critically about the role that you want technology to play in your home. You’ve considered the ways that devices might enhance or hinder your family values. You’ve communicated these things with your family and are feeling confident about the path ahead.

And then…you open the front door. You remember that there is a whole world out there that you simply cannot control. Neighborhood friends, cousins, classrooms, sports teams…was all that work you did for nothing?

Let us reassure you, the decisions you made in your home and the conversations you had are not for nothing. They will have an immense impact on how your kids interact with the digital world. If it feels like an uphill battle, we want to leave you with this charge:

What are creative, non-judgmental ways we can inspire others to opt-in? Is there a space or event where you can think about leading the charge when it comes to promoting screen-life balance?

 

We know that change is best implemented in community. Without the support of even just one or two people on your “team,” implementing changes to your family’s tech habits can be really challenging. If you’re feeling alone, it might be time to put your leader hat on.

So what does it look like to lead? What could you do to pull the people closest to you into the mix?

Lead the Way

1. Share the hard parts.

You are not alone in the ways that tech has challenged your family. By sharing what has felt hard or unknown, you’re opening the door for a vulnerable and authentic conversation. You may also be able to provide the glimmer of hope that there is another way.

2. Host a device-free gathering.

Whether it’s a casual play date, sleepover or birthday bash — what would it look like to host a device-free gathering? How can you be clear in your communication? What kind of logistics might you need to think through? Check out our previous blog post for ideas.

3. Lead a Screen Sanity Group Study.

The Screen Sanity Group Study is a great way to start the conversation around how your family interacts with technology. And the best part is you don’t have to be an expert to lead the group study, you just need to be willing to gather a group and press “play.” Gather a group of parents, leaders in your organization, coaches, teachers or neighborhood families. Then, get your free digital version of the Screen Sanity Group Study or order a physical copy from Amazon.

4. Ask for help.

This may seem counterintuitive; lead by asking for help. But stick with us here. This is a great way to keep shame out of your conversations. Ask those around you for help as you instill new tech practices. For example, imagine your kids are spending the day with their grandparents. You might say something like, “Hey, we are trying something new in the ways we’re interacting with technology in our home. I’m wondering if you might be able to help us as we go.” Rather than interrogating them about their current device practices, you’re able to give them a role in your journey. It could very well inspire them to make positive changes in their own lives, too.