This post has been sponsored by Google in partnership with Forward Influence. All opinions in this post are proudly are my own.
If we’re being honest, I don’t really think life was better then! And I’m not sure it was simpler. I remember printing out map directions to places and I remember setting times with people to meet them, pick them up, get picked up, etc. and it wasn’t always seamless. If you had told the old me that I’d one day have the whole world at my fingertips, I wouldn’t have been able to even imagine it. And if you had told me I’d have to make decisions for my kids based on having the whole world at their fingertips? Wow. It’s a unique situation to have, as well as a personal one.
Even though my kids are young, we live in a world where technology is everywhere, and we use it in front of them all the time! I rely on my phone and laptop to do so much for me, and I am now conscious of modeling digital behavior in front of my kids. And also, how we can work on this as a family, and all improve. Since I work in social media, I have to work hard to balance my personal and professional lives, especially when they overlap so much. It can be so distracting.
Digital Wellbeing: 3 Tools We Use in Our Family:
Google’s digital wellbeing tools are to help us develop our own sense of digital wellbeing. And that’s so that life, and not the technology in it, can stay front and center – where it belongs. These tips, tools, and strategies will help your family to use time more wisely, like it does for us.
Google’s digital wellbeing tools:
Google Assistant Features
Family Link Features
YouTube Kids Features
3 tools we use:
This is an app we’ve had for about a year, since Scarlet started using an Android device in school and for school work. This app helps you set certain digital ground rules for them. For example, you can manage apps by seeing how much time your kids spend on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports. Then you can approve or block apps from the Google Play Store. You can also set screen time limits and lock devices if you just want your kids to play outside or spend more time with you. This app has been a big game changer at home.
We improve evening time with Google Assistant:
This is a big one, specifically for me. I’ve had an erratic sleep schedule lately, because of work, personal writing, and my wind-down time. With Google Assistant, you can activate the customizable Bedtime Routine. With this, you can set an alarm, dim your lights, lower your music, get the weather for tomorrow, and go to sleep! There’s also a voice-powered Do Not Disturb, so Google Assistant can let you tell your phone to silence all notifications and communications. When Google Home devices are in Downtime, they won’t respond to most commands or questions. This is most beneficial to me!
Have YouTube remind you to take a break!
Hey, we all need breaks. This tool helps you understand your viewing habits and controls how you watch through customizable settings and tools, like Autoplay Controls and your Time Watched Profile. This profile gives you a closer look at how much time you spend on YouTube. And it compares that to previous time periods. You can also schedule custom breaks as often as you want, pausing what you’re currently watching and encouraging you to step away. Another cool tool is to get all your YouTube push notifications bundled into a single notification each day – and choose when you get it.
We love that Google has taken responsibility for making our digital wellbeing better, and their digital wellbeing tools and resources – including product solutions, tips, and additional resources – are here to help us find and maintain a balance with technology. And ultimately, it’s a balance that works best for us. So whether you’re looking to minimize distractions, improve your focus, unplug more often, or help your family create healthy options, Google has tools to help. Make sure to visit wellbeing.google to learn more.
One last tool – Self Reflection Tool:
This is a great place to start. You can take the self-reflection tool to understand your relationship with technology, and see what tips/features are right for you.
These tools have helped my family tremendously. We have a better balance with less screen time, and have even taken to riding bikes together nearly every day. I’ve always been a big proponent of small, easy steps to progress. Google’s digital wellbeing initiative helps us find a better balance by having a tool for every aspect of our busy lives. Schedules, routines, bedtime, YouTube time, etc. My kids are still young but I think this helps us to build better habits that they will truly appreciate when they have several of their own devices like I do.