In a world of near-ubiquitous connectivity, it has never been harder to stay connected with the ones you love. We are torn in so many directions. And technology often makes things worse.
TV time is unnecessary and redundant, as everyone in the house has their own favorite TV shows and their own personal TVs on which to watch them. It hardly makes sense to sit everyone around a TV at an inconvenient time to watch something they have no interest in, or that they have already seen.
With instant messaging, it has never been easier to keep up with distant friends, while ignoring family members sitting in the same room. These days, sharing a physical space does not mean spending time together. Technology has made it easier than ever to be alone in a crowded room.
But technology is not to blame. As with most things, it is more about what we do with it. While it is true that there are many ways to use technology to drive a wedge between families. There are even more ways to use it that bring families together. Here are a few:
Embrace the Same Smartphone Ecosystem
Let me just say upfront: this is really hard to do. Someone is going to have to make a big sacrifice to do it. But if you can pull it off, the benefits are well worth the effort. If the kids love Android phones, be team Android. If iOS is what gets them excited, be an iOS family.
One of the benefits of everyone having the same phone is that the whole family can share protective cases. If everyone has one of those BodyGuardz cases but in different styles, then everyone can freely swap cases to change things up without sacrificing protection.
Beyond hardware, you can also share software. If the App Store account is a part of a family plan, all parties can share a single app purchase. That also goes for books, music, and movies.
Another great benefit is technical support. Since everyone is on the same device, a solution to a problem will apply to everyone equally. Rather than letting tech enthusiasm divide families, use it to bring your family closer together.
Pictures; or It Didn’t Happen
It is one thing to tell someone about your day. It is quite another to show it to them in pictures taken from your smartphone camera.
The iPhone 7 has the second-best iPhone camera ever shipped, second only to the iPhone 7 Plus. If you are going to make pictures to share with family and friends, learn how to make them the best they can possibly be.
A good photo is about more than pixels and lumens. It is more about the moments you choose to immortalize. No one cares if the picture of their baby’s first step has any production value. They just want to capture the moment.
Choose moments that will bring you closer together with the people you love. Hint: That special moment is probably not your lunch.
Get More FaceTime
Everyone complains that we don’t see each other nearly enough. As society gets even more mobile and more spread out, that situation will only get worse, not better. But technology offers, if not a solution, a treatment for the problem.
You can’t buy a modern smartphone without some sort of video calling system. Apple offers the most integrated system in FaceTime: a service that comes standard on all their computing devices. It is not just the phone.
That means that an iPhone user can have a video call with someone on an iPod, an iPad, or almost any Mac. The only device that can’t do it is the Apple Watch. And rumor has it that future Apple Watches will have that ability.
Outside of Apple, there are a number of solutions for Android and Windows, though not quite as integrated. Whatever platform you are on, you can find a way to get a little more face time with the ones you love.