I usually feel pretty up-to-date when it comes to technology. I’m active on several forms of social media and I’m good with computers — I have to be since I spend most of my workday sitting at one each day. A big big chunk of my time is spent using the internet and maintaining Little Rock Family’s own website.

But a few months ago, I was visiting my family and trying to record the screen of my phone by using another phone. My brother Gabe, who’s a junior in high school, was in disbelief that I didn’t have the screen record shortcut in the control center on my phone. And suddenly I felt old for having no idea what he was talking about.

He took my phone and added the button for me, and I’ve since shown several of my friends how to add it to their own phones (and felt a little better since none of them knew what I was talking about at first either). Technology is constantly changing. There are new buttons, new devices, new apps, new social media platforms and new ways to connect with the world almost daily. Which, for parents, means that technology is presenting new challenges almost daily.

In this issue of the magazine, I wanted to tackle technology head on from a wide variety of perspectives. Tech isn’t all bad — it can be used for great educational purposes and it’s becoming more and more a part of most careers. But it does have its drawbacks, which we can’t ignore. It’s nearly impossible to even imagine a world without today’s modern technology. So as kids grow up immersed in it, it’s important that parents know how to set guidelines, use it constructively and stay connected as well.

Whether you’re trying to figure out how old your kids should be when they get their first phone, how much screen time is too much screen time or how to use technology to your own benefit, there is so much to figure out.

And while technology is at the forefront of this issue, let’s remember all the good old-fashioned ways to stay entertained — there’s nothing like turning the TV off, putting all the cell phones in the other room and breaking out the board games for an evening. As the weather gets warmer, leave your phones at home when you take a walk or bike ride, even if that means your steps aren't counted and you can’t snap a photo. Sometimes it’s better to just live in the moment.

Whether you’re a tech-savvy parent or you’re struggling to keep up, I hope you’ll stumble across at least a few nuggets of information that are helpful in these pages.


Where to Set Tech Boundaries for Your Child
4 Ways to Make Monitoring Your Kids’ Online Activity Easier
6 Tips for Developing Awareness of Your Kid's Tech Boundaries
Putting Technology to Work to Manage Family Finances
Using Technology to Help Students Learn While Limiting Screen Time
Two Local Pediatricians Dissect Health Concerns Surrounding Screen Time