Parenting is hard work and as a mom of three I know what is involved in keeping the train on the track. We try so hard to give them everything they need to be successful in life. Healthy and natural foods, non-toxic bath products, we get them involved in activities and sports, and we try to monitor all the information they receive from every device in their hands.
I’m not going to lie, my opinion of screen time has changed around so many times between tablets, video games, iPhones, and television – is it good or is it bad?! Sure, my kids have rules about their screen time, but sometimes I feel strange telling them it is bad when I use my phone so much for my job. But I have come to the conclusion over the years, that too much anything is no good and that not all screen time is bad for you.
If technology can enhance education and give children experiences and information that adds to their cultural capital that will enrich their lives, why not take advantage of it? A recent Op-Ed in USA Today makes the argument that technology (like VR), “allows schools to transcend geographic, logistical and time barriers, giving students access to connections otherwise out of schools’ reach.” I think worrying about the quality of screen time is more important than the quantity of screen time. I don’t mind letting my kids have an extra hour a week if they are using that screen time in productive and educational ways.
Our newest gadget, the Merge Cube, is a virtual reality device that is basically a foam black flexible box you can use with the Merge AR Goggles or with your mobile device that gives my kids new and interesting ways to learn about the world. The exterior of the Merge Cube is covered in code that you scan with your Merge Cube app on your mobile device, like an iPhone, iPad and even an android and you can unlock educational games and experiences. All of the Merge VR experiences are vetted for safety, appropriate content and are free of ads. Merge is building products, experiences and technology that is family friendly and more importantly, safe and educational.
I also love gadgets that we can enjoy as a family. We discovered the solar system together and I was blown away at how much information my kids were retaining. I was asking a million questions, but it is important for kids to see that anyone can learn something new at any age. They also get pretty excited to teach mommy how to use the Merge Cube. Let’s face it—our kids are wayyy more tech savvy than we are because they are growing up in this new world. It is hard to fight it, so we might as well curate it!