In a recent study conducted by Visit Anaheim (aka Disneyland), researchers studied families with children between the ages of 4 to 18 and found 54 percent of parents admit to only having 12 (or less) childless dates each year and the average family spends a mere 37 minutes of quality time together on a daily basis. They also found more than half of the families surveyed are in constant search for engaging and family-inclusive activities.
These stats aren’t that alarming to fellow parents because we all know what it’s like to juggle the demands of family, household chores, career and some semblance of a personal life every once in a while. In all honesty, this is something I’m grappling with in real time — especially after our recent date night fail. My significant other and I were scheduled for a date (sans children) yet we couldn’t find the energy to sneak off after all the coordination.
The extra time spent coordinating elaborate dinner plans and waiting to hear back from babysitters is enough to zap the lifeforce of any resilient parent. This led me to ask my friends and colleagues how they overcome this in their homes. It turns out many of them are like us; they don’t!
Which brings me to this question: How can couples or families use smart tech to alleviate the burden of constant household coordination?
The value of staying connected
According to BabyCenter, 7 out of 10 parents between the ages of 18 to 44 own at least one IoT device and an additional 33 percent believe their IoT powered devices and technology make them better parents.
When technology is human-centered, it feels smart, seamless and intuitive. It enables us to have richer, undisrupted experiences. PwC found at least 30 percent of consumers are willing to pay more money for such conveniences. To consumers, synchronistic connectivity is worth the extra spend because lack of continuity can cost us premium time with the VIP’s in our lives; our children and significant others.
Is smart tech the new love language?
Technology has earned a reputation for being obtrusive and has often been viewed as a hindrance to living a meaningful and balanced life. Just Google “technology AND relationships” and you’ll amass endless search results of opinions and research conducted to convince consumers that too much technology is bad for children, families, your love life and humanity.
Despite the empirical and anecdotal arguments to support the thesis that tech can be bad for us, I respectfully disagree. The advancements we’ve seen in digital devices and the innovative applications of emerging tech such as IoT, 5G, wearables, VR/AR and ML/AI, has facilitated rapid adoption of modern technology that has become significantly enmeshed into our everyday lives. I predict that the widespread adoption of smart devices and IoT at home will become the new love language of this generation. Where our human limitations end, our tech-enabled devices can augment our lives in ways that make us whole.
Questions to the reader:
What do think about using the power of technology to enrich your life?
How are you leveraging technology to stay more connected at home and in your hearts?