Using technology at home

It’s important that families work together to figure out the rules around technology use. It’s great to start with an open discussion and do a screen audit of each member’s technology use together. Once you have completed this, you’ll be ready to set technology rules as a family.

What is a screen audit?

A screen audit is simply a process of examining our relationship to screens. Generally, an audit is done when individuals or families want to re-examine how frequently and for how long they use their screens. If you’re concerned about how much time your children are spending with screens, it’s important to first examine how much time you yourself, and other adults in the house, are spending using screens each day. If you want to reduce the amount of time your family spends with screens, it’s important to lead by example.

How to do a screen audit

A screen audit is best undertaken by the whole family together. A good way to start is to get everyone to respond to questions about their screen use. Some example questions are:

  • How much TV do you watch per day?
  • How much time do you spend on the computer for study or work purposes?
  • How much time do you spend on mobile devices each day?
  • How much leisure time do you spend online versus offline?

Get everyone to note down their responses to each question, and try to identify the times of day that the screen time occurs. Another way to conduct a screen audit is to create a logbook, where, over the course of a week, each family member logs the duration and type of their screen time. Here is an app you may find useful, it tracks how much time you spend on your phone or ipad, you can set a daily limit and be notified when you go over the limit, and you can even ask to be forced off your device. 

After doing a screen audit, check out some tips on setting rules for screen time at home.

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