The novel coronavirus (COVID-19)—declared as a pandemic to be very cautious about—has got us all trapped at home. This isn’t the kind of vacation you would normally ask for, and we don’t think the word “vacation” would even describe it. In fact, it’s a disaster forcing us to imprison ourselves in the safety of our houses.
This means all the family members are at home; children get to spend their hours on their favorite computer games, while those who are working members are busy trying to work out how video conference apps function.
Of course, one cannot simply keep doing these for over 2 months now. So, how exactly can a family bond through the help of technology? Here are 5 ways how.
#1 Set up a movie or game night with the family
When waking up early for school was a reason children’s parents would tell them to cut screen time, now is actually a good time to check out what the kids are spending their hours on even past bedtime.
That’s right, it’s time to connect that laptop onto the big screen for a movie or maybe plug in a gaming console for a multiplayer game. We are living in a time where online streaming is very much available—you’ve got Netflix, iFlix, or even just YouTube—to pick out a film you want to go over. Plus, some of these video streaming sites are offering educational shows for children to delight in with any family member.
From time to time, plays and/or musicals are being made available on YouTube to be viewed for limited days (such as the recent Ang Huling El Bimbo, The Hit Musical) because it’s quite understandable that the theatre are currently off limits to its audiences. Online games are plentiful too, and there are quite a lot of family-friendly sites which offers tons of fun. Who says you need to live in different houses to meet up in Club Penguin?
Plus, this is a great way to get to know one another’s preferences more. What does your family member like to watch? What are famous movies or shows would they introduce to you? What are the kinds of games do your children play? Now’s the time to monitor and have fun in the process.
#2 Get involved in online classes and seminars
Other than the online classes and requirements your university resolved to do to cope up with the lessons amidst this pandemic, you can most certainly join online seminars and workshops. While online learning has its advantages and disadvantages, it is still very useful for some.
There are a lot of companies and opportunities calling for participants on lessons that you could go over online. Don’t worry, some classes are for free, and you only need to find out how to sign up so you can be part of the conversation on a given schedule.
This is something the family can enjoy doing because online classes and seminars range from a baking class, to a music lesson, to a foreign language class, or even to arts and crafts. It’s an online activity for all ages, so to speak, and you only need to find the right seminar which speaks to you.
After accomplishing a class, maybe you can share your new learnings to the family over dinner. This would definitely improve family communication and bond by going over the experience taken online. There’s no right or wrong here. As long as you’ve got the free time (really, we most certainly have all the time in the world now), it’s an opportunity you cannot miss.
#3 Learn a new computer skill from one another
Remember that time when your mother asked you how this or that work online? Or maybe when your younger sibling wants to know how you edited that photo and improve it? Perhaps now is the time to better focus on how to educate them on these reliable skills and knowledge. Be careful though, because too much exposure to technology might not be good for children.
The world we live in is so advanced that not everyone can cope on how things work in the technological aspect. Even when your parents (or grandparents) figured out different features on Facebook, for example, the social media platform still changes with new updates. Technology evolves just to cater to features its users wants to see, and what would make everything simpler.
This aspect is greatly needed these days when business and schoolwork are all done online. What if your parents are new to the concept? What if your siblings want to bring the best out of a school requirement? It is time to share your knowledge and patience to contribute, not only to the success of a family member, but to spreading technological wonders.
Remember, teaching a family member or helping them when they don’t understand how stuff works online is a good way of bonding with them. It does good for everyone, and it makes everyone productive even when the lockdown’s over.
#4 Work on a vlog or blog
It’s time to release those creative juices and communication skills with a new YouTube video or a blog post.
That’s right: if you’ve been dreaming of creating your own vlog or blog, now’s the time to do it—with family members tagging along for fun. Vlogs does not have to be a difficult topic to present; some are just documenting their daily lives since quarantine started, while some are being extra helpful by sharing their cooking recipes (and the step-by-step procedure) through the aid of vlogging.
In starting a blog, writing has always been a medium for release, and it doesn’t require for one to be a top writer or to have a large audience to judge that you’re posting the right thing.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to expressing yourself, and people doesn’t have the right to judge why your vlog is merely introducing your family, for instance, or your write-up is about anything you can think of under the sun. You may even choose not to upload your vlog on YouTube at all, or post your blog in a website, but just do it for fun and then keep it on your laptop just to remember how boring these days are.
Besides, the older members of the family are curious as to what these terms are—vlog and blog—so why not show them a hands-on experience of what it is to be a ‘vlogger’ or ‘blogger’? A lot of family fun tends to happen once relatives are involved, and this calls for quite an amusing experience.
#5 Respect and support one another’s online activities
One of the best ways to help one another get through this pandemic is through respect and support even when it comes to online tendencies. While children need to be guided and monitored, and elder family members need to know their limits and discipline when it comes to online activity; remember that the biggest favor you can do to each other is a friendly reminder, and good guidance.
You cannot just snap at a child to stop playing and do something as immature as deleting their saved progress on a game when they do not listen, nor can you blame children for trying to get you to bond with them if you’ve been spending way too much of your time doing online business or work.
Remind one another of how you spend your time online—whether it’s important, or just for entertainment—in this way members can respect one another’s time, as well as become supportive on whatever you are doing virtually.
In addition, respect one another’s privacy. You cannot just grab someone’s smartphone or laptop without asking their permission. Even if it’s an urgent requirement needed passing, or you simply do not have the gadget your sibling has, you still have to remember to ask. That way, it builds trust in the family as well as teaches the young ones common courtesy that just because kuya’s video game console is lying around means he can just take it and play with it.
Technology is helping to keep us entertained
It’s a pandemic. Let’s face it: technology is playing a huge part in keeping us all intact and informed. Had technology not been as advanced as it is, we are definitely going to stare at a wall the whole day.
The takeaway here is not just about you tinkering with your gadgets and exploring online possibilities by yourself but doing it with family as well in order to promote that Filipino culture we are so pride about: family unity and love.
Then again, it’s a scarring experience, and absolutely no one is asking one another to be as productive as it was a normal circumstance. One must not force himself to do what is expected of him.
Take note that even technology has its ups and downs, yet we are not expecting too much from it because we already have this expectation that internet connections are bound to be congested. If such a trifle is to be expected from technology, what more of us? We’re humans trying to cope with a traumatizing event, and to be with family—even without online activities—is enough to keep our minds at ease.