Everyday, technology strives to connect us to our loved ones more and more. Ever since the telegraph was invented, we have been seeing new ways to communicate with our friends and families all the time. If you have been feeling isolated, nostalgic for old friends, or simply wanting to explore new ways to hang out, this article will help you do just that!
Increasing Security Through Connectedness
Staying connected to our children, elderly parents, and friends can be first and foremost about having fun and the joy of staying in touch. However, it can also be a concrete way to increase our security. Isolation is a real risk for many people who may work in precarious situations or be at risk of falls. Using tech to stay connected can take on even more importance.
A new technological approach to family security is to use GPS tracking devices. Some of the most common uses of GPS tracking systems include keeping track of your children’s location, charting family members during vacations and outings, and finding your pets if they get lost. When choosing a GPS device, it is a good idea to look at battery life, connectivity specs, and the quality of the brand.
Another way that people are using technology to connect and stay safe is with the Philips Lifeline Alert System. This will give your elderly family members a small device that they can wear around their neck or in their pocket, which will give them direct access to emergency medical systems and to family members. This way, you can feel more calm, knowing they have that extra layer of technological security.
Playing Familiar Games Together
If playing board games together is something you have always loved, you may find it difficult to stay connected with your community if it is scattered geographically, or if your loved ones are more comfortable on their smartphones. However, there are some ways to get this collective project off the ground by combining familiar games with new technology.
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It is a good idea to sign up at the same site, so you can play the same games. Another great option is Words With Friends. This app looks and feels a lot like Scrabble, but it allows you to play against your friends and family. It can be a lot of fun, as you attach emojis to words you play and engage in batter in the chat feature.
Take a Lesson from Teenagers
In many ways, teenagers are on the cutting edge of staying connected via digital technology. We might think of them as being isolated with their faces fixed on their screens, but what we may not be seeing is that this is also a way of connecting. We could take a lesson from their playbook as we adapt to these new ways of building community.
A study from Pew Research found that teens are using video games, social media, and mobile phones in how they build and maintain community. According to the study, 57% of teens have made new friends online. In fact, 29%, or nearly one out of every three, has made more than five friends online. This shows us that time using digital devices is not time spent alone.
Video games seem to play a more critical role among male teenagers. Eighty-four percent of boys play video games, compared with 59% of girls surveyed. Fully 75% of video game players play with friends online. More than half play with friends who are exclusively friends from the internet. This flies in the face of the stereotype of video game players as asocial members of society who are reclusive. Rather, it is clearly a way of creating and maintaining community. We could learn a lot from our adolescents, if we are willing to give it a second look.