Categories
Devices Events and Life Wellbeing

Screen time for kids during a pandemic

Back when we were in a “normal” routine, our kids’ screen time was pretty limited during the week. We only permitted them to use their phones and computers for school-related tasks during the week.

On weekends, they could play (there’s a limit on the Nintendo Switch, mostly as an experiment) for as long as their phone batteries lasted (well, that was the idea, it becomes meaningless when their phones last all day 😜).

Our kids would go out to meet their friends at parks, or at their friends’ homes.

Since our kids were basically confined to our home, and couldn’t see their friends in person, we basically lifted the screen time limits. The way I think about it is that they tend to play games with their friends, so this is the new “go out and play with your friends” time.

I noticed that Clint Edwards shared a post about a similar issue recently, and I agree with him, here:

I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier about online gaming, something only a pandemic could make me say. My son’s pretty social, and being away from his friends has been really hard on him. I usually hate gaming and we normally have serious restrictions on screen time. But right now it is keeping him inside and giving him a social outlet, and that’s made this whole ordeal easier on everyone.

Let Them Watch Screens – No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog

The challenge, now, is that I still want our kids to focus on what passes for their distance classes in the mornings. We expect them to stick to “normal” school days, finishing around the time they’d finish if they were at school.

I work from my usual space at our dining room, and they work in their bedrooms, so it’s difficult to keep a close eye on whether they’re actually focused on their studies.

Still, as Clint points out, a little extra screen time creeping in at the edges isn’t a calamity –

Listen y’all, we are going to get through this. I know it. But the last thing I think we should all be worried about is limiting screen time right now.

Let Them Watch Screens – No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Categories
Business and work

How best to contact someone new

I came across a question on Inbound.org, a great inbound marketing site, asking about the best way to contact someone new? Aleksandra asked for some feedback:

I was just wondering which channel you guys mostly use when it comes to contacting someone new? For business matters, of course 🙂

Is there any difference for you whether this person is an opinion leader/influencer or not. Maybe you have an unusual approach/tactics you want to share.

Just to make it more precise, let’s imagine you need to ask someone for advice/opinion, etc.

I’ve thought about this often, especially when I had a small business I was trying to grow. People commenting on the question outlined when they’d use Twitter, LinkedIn, email and phone calls to contact someone new but I have a different approach I thought I’d share here too.

How I prefer to contact someone new

I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach here. I think it very much depends on the person you want to reach. Some people are pretty active on particular platforms and you’d pick those platforms to reach out to them. Understanding which platforms those people are most active in is probably also a really good way to get to know them better and signal to them that you have made an effort to connect more meaningfully.

We’ve found that Twitter is a great way to reach out to some media people, for example, just @-mentioning them. Some people even accept direct messages on Twitter so that is an option too. Email is a standard way to connect to people but it can be a very bland medium. LinkedIn is great, in theory, but I only use it if I know the person is an active LinkedIn user. Otherwise, you may receive a message months later with an apology explaining that the person barely looks at LinkedIn.

I think phone calls can be one of the most effective ways of reaching out to people. I usually send a WhatsApp message to someone with a brief introduction and asking when I can call to discuss the issue with the person. We get so caught up with digital and social that we forget just how meaningful a phone call can be. Sure, there are people who find phone calls to be very invasive or disruptive but that is why I start with a message first.

What do you think? What works best for you?

Image credit: Pexels

Categories
Mindsets People

“We’re a generation of smartphones and dumb people”

One was to describe the world we live in today is as a “contradiction”. We have so many ways to connect with each other and share our lives and yet the primary ways we do that also isolate us from meaningful human contact. The instrument of our isolation is also the device we use to connect to each other: our smartphones.

How often do you find yourself in a room with friends or family and they are more focused on the screen in their hands and interested in a conversation with people somewhere else than they are in the moments they could share with you in person? The challenge with social media is using it to share moments and not isolate yourself from meaningful connections with each other.

Gary Turk published a terrific video about this titled “Look Up” which says it nicely:

I like his characterization of what many of us have become:

We are a generation of smartphone and dumb people

I also really enjoyed this interview with Louis CK on Team Coco about his take on Twitter: