Family Time Management- Coping with technology

It may be hard to conceptualize how technology and family time could converge in beneficial ways. But they can and you may be able to harness this intersection for the good of you and your loved ones. I’m not referring to random accidents and occurrences such as when you’re uploading family pics to Flickr and you get a ‘rings for a man‘ pop-up ad. I mean an actual productive merger of these elements of your life. Using the latest applications can not only relieve the stress of maintaining a family, it can teach your kids the value of using technology responsibly. Here are three examples of technology and family colliding positively:

Cooking with the family bolstered by recipe apps. Putting out of a spread that the whole family likes can be quite taxing. Sometimes you have to call in the calvary and there’s no one better for the job than your smartphone, who, after all, might well be a part of your family. Recipe apps like RecipePal, Epicurious, Whole Foods Market Recipes, RecipeGrazer and hundreds of others can make your family dinner stress-free, innovative, and delicious. Just make sure not to keep your phone on the butcher block, unless you’re using it as garnish.

Family trips into nature or to the dog park streamlined by GPS. A family trip to an obscure trailhead or a dog park in a confusing part of town can quickly turn into a horror movie-like escapade out into the wilderness or, worse, an urban traffic jam. The latest GPS equipment, typified by the brands TomTom, Garmin, and Magellan, allows you to navigate the most vexing of traffic situations and road conditions, even if you have screaming children and a hyperactive dog to contend with.

Perfect pick on movie night, thanks to Siri. A family movie night can easily devolve into chaos as disagreement over what flick to watch escalates. What genre, what length, what actors—each one of these considerations can breed familial disharmony, leading you to proclaim in defeat, “We’ll never decide on a movie.” Alas, Siri to the rescue. Apple’s voice recognition-powered personal assistant software can yield the answer to virtually any question you ask. It’s Hollywood trivia is extremely impressive, as is its ability to rapidly dredge up informative sites and varied answers.

These three technological applications—mobile phone apps, GPS, and Siri—offer more abilities than just the ones people normally associate with them. These devices and the services they afford can make your family outings and times together run more smoothly. Now that’s a practical application.

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