One of the greatest joys of my career is being a voice for families, and I am proud to be a changemaker for family culture. I am also a proud a tech enthusiast!
As all families know, tech has created new issues for parents. We are well aware of how technology is impacting our children and that we need to learn how to parent effectively around this new reality. It’s important we voice our concerns. When we stay in discussion with all the stake holders, tech companies listen and design improvements occur.
For example, Tristan Harris – the former design ethicist at Google – left his post to create an organization called The Center for Humane Technology. He is championing a movement that pushes for a more ethical approach in designing interfaces between humans (especially our children) and the technology that we are immersed.
Another great display that tech companies are hearing the concerns of parents happened just yesterday; Apple released iOS 12 which has screen time management tools! Now parents can receive daily and weekly detailed information on which apps or categories of apps and websites your child has been spending time on. This allows parents to set limits for each app, or category of apps, through their own phone by using Family Sharing on iCloud. It has alerts and timers so parents can schedule tech times and limitations on their child’s device, such as during meals or bedtime.
Facebook and Instagram both also upgraded their platforms this year with additional parental controls!
So, please know that things are moving in the right direction. If you are wondering how you as a parent can keep up with all the latest apps and tech changes, you should bookmark these great resources: CommonSenseMedia.org and MediaSmarts.ca.
Our hope as parents should be to raise digitally literate citizens who use their tech as a tool rather than being a slave to their devices. With these design improvements and more to come, we’ll get there together.