Stay Connected, In All Kinds Of Ways
Photo credit: skynesher/Vetta/Getty Images
Work it out
Advancements in computer technology have made it possible for more people than ever before to telecommute, or do their jobs from a home office. This allows for great flexibility in meshing work and family schedules. Parents can be there for children before and after school or when they're sick; or they can schedule jobs so as to accommodate children's activities. It also eliminates time spent away from family travelling to and from a job. Today's smartphones also make it easy to keep on top of work while on the go with family. As a bonus, kids get a first-hand look at their parent's work ethic in action.
Today, playing video games doesn't always mean sitting and staring at a screen. Video game technology has made it possible for the entire family to get together in the living room and partake in any number of games or activities. A family can share a lot of laughs trying out dance moves or bonding over a bowling tournament on a rainy day.
One of the best ways to bring family closer together using technology is with video chat. The technology has improved to the point where chatting is almost seamless, just like over the phone — and you get to see your loved one at the same time. You can even connect with more than one family member at the same time. Skype, ooVoo, Google +, and AIM are just a few of the interfaces available for video calling. For family members who live far apart, video chat gives keeping in touch and staying close new meaning. Not only can you see each other in real time, but also it's free, so family members who may not be able to afford long-distance calls can participate as often and for as long as they like.
It's never been easier to share photos, videos, music and instant updates of what is happening in your lives than with the advent of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. No matter where you and your family members are located, whether in the same house, across town, or across the country, with options for instant pop-up chat and private message exchanges, family members can share and communicate by whatever means they are most comfortable. Whether it's a cousin's dance recital, wedding photos, or a funny video — everyone will know exactly what's going on with family members, and be able to comment, encourage or respond.
Cell phones are a boon to keeping in close contact with family members and are great for streamlining planning and scheduling when you're apart. Texting is a simple and quick way to communicate short messages efficiently throughout the day, without the possible interruption of a phone conversation. With cell phones, you never feel like loved ones are too far away; you're always able to connect. A recent survey by Rogers Canada indicated that 60 percent of women no longer worry about family members, due to technology allowing them to stay in contact.