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CONVERGE | Technology

Video: Speak Your Kids' Language and Connect With Tech

January 07, 2020

Instead of letting technology get in the way of family time, try using it as a way to connect. Here's how.

 

These days, worrying about your kids' exposure to technology is considered commonplace. Are they sharing too much on social media? Are they spending too much time playing video games? These concerns often translate into demonizing electronics, which makes sense. When you're feeling disconnected from your family, it's easy to blame excessive screen time . But if used with some awareness, technology can actually help to strengthen your connection with your kids. Here's how:

Get Your Filter On

Thanks to apps like Instagram and Snapseed, anyone can be an amateur photographer. With an endless array of creative filters and effects, photo sharing has become its own art form in recent years. Ask your kids to show you some of their favorite filters, then take selfies together and try them on for size. Also check out Snapchat to give yourselves halos, or turn yourselves into cartoon puppies. You can also try face-swapping technology, but fair warning—it can get a little creepy.

Play Along

The phenomenon of the video game junkie is nothing new; kids have been obsessed with gaming since before the days of PacMan. But hey, if you can't beat'em, join'em! Many video games are multiplayer, which means you can jump right in and play with or against your kids. Destiny 2 is one of the most popular options, which was nominated for Best Multiplayer at the Game Critics Awards in 2017. Tom Clancy's The Division is another great option, which has a player-versus-player competitive mode—great for testing your gaming mettle!

Vlog It

Nicknamed the YouTube Generation, much of today's youth is turning to online video platforms as a means of self-expression. “Vlogging" is a wonderful way for people to explore their interests and exercise creativity. While posting and watching video content may seem like a solo activity, it can provide an opportunity to bond with your kids. Find ways to get involved — ask about their favorite influencers and watch some clips together. If your kids are vloggers themselves, see if you can be a special guest on their channel. Who knows, you may even learn a new skill.

Get Cooking

Families have been cooking together for generations, so why stop now? If your kid likes to cook, try embarking on a culinary adventure together. Use a virtual assistant like Amazon's Alexa to give you step-by-step instructions in the kitchen. Alternatively, you can play a YouTube cooking tutorial on your tablet and follow along with your loved one to create a memorable family meal.

Watch TV

That's right. Watching TV doesn't have to get in the way of relating to your kids—it can be the way. Try setting aside one night a week to take in an episodic show together. Cox On Demand offers tons of great content, including "Star Falls," which is perfect for the whole family. You can even search by genre to find family-friendly shows. Netflix also has a wide variety to choose from. Simply say “Netflix" into your Contour Voice Remote and you'll have access to shows like "Victorious" and "The Good Cop." Or if your kids are older, check out "Stranger Things," then have a blast discussing characters and fan theories! No matter what you choose to watch, you'll have a newfound tradition that everyone can look forward to.

 

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