Introducing our Balanced Communications Diet
Technology is changing the way we communicate, work and play – follow our Balanced Communications Diet to make sure you’re getting the balance right.
An international study led by the University of Cambridge and sponsored by BT has found that as we spend more and more time using technology to communicate at work and at home, it has for some become overwhelming and left some of us wanting to ‘escape’.
The study revealed that communication technology itself is not the root cause of the problem but rather the way we use it. Think of it a bit like food. The solution to staying healthy isn’t to stop eating – it’s finding a balanced diet that works for you. It is the same with communications technology.
To help, we’ve produced a set of ‘5-a-day’ recommendations for using communications technology. If you think about these five things, you and your family can start to develop and maintain a Balanced Communications Diet.
The Balanced Communications Diet
Be aware – before you can make any changes, you need to understand how you and your family are using technology.
Many families who took part in the research were surprised and at times dismayed by their technology habits. Keeping a log of your family’s use of technology will help you identify good and bad habits and also changes you may want to make.
Location, location, location – think about where technology is located in the home.
Parents often complained that their children abandoned family time to go on the computer or video game console in their room. Keeping computers and consoles in a central location will allow your family to share what they are doing online, or at least all be in the same place while using technology.
Have rules – Set some boundaries about how, when and where technology is used.
Try removing technology from the dinner table, organise a family games evening either with or without technology, use parental controls to manage use of social networks or the time spent on the family computer, or agree limits on the number of text messages sent in a day.
Education – be a good example: teach and demonstrate the importance of balance and safety in the way technology is used.
For example, avoid checking your smart phone unnecessarily when with your family. It’s easy for children to pick up bad habits from you.
In addition, children are using technology at an increasingly early age and teaching safe and responsible use is vital from the outset.
Find your Balance
Don’t be concerned by overly positive or negative hype about communications technology. Every family and individual uses technology differently. We hope that this advice helps you find a healthy balance for you so that you have control of technology and are making the most of all forms of communication whether it’s by phone, email, social media or face-to-face.
Download the reports
Feel overwhelmed by technology?
Our new study sponsored by BT shows that one in three people have felt overwhelmed by communications technology.
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