With Summer Break Underway, Families Have Time to Foster Improved Digital Habits

As summer break begins, children may have more time to spend on their cellphones, prompting parents to consider their online activities. According to our nonprofit partner Screen Sanity, today’s parents are navigating a new challenge: raising children who have grown up with smartphones and social media, often without clear guidance.

UScellular provides various tools and resources to help families cultivate healthy digital habits. These tools assist parents in managing their children’s screen time, discussing online content, and encouraging balanced phone use.

Here are some ways parents can start:

Bark Location Alert

Monitor content and screen time.

Based on UScellular’s Consumer Interactions & Perspectives Report, 82% of parents monitor their children’s cellphone usage due to concerns about online exposure, social media apps, and overall screen time. To address this, UScellular collaborates with Bark, a leading parental control service, offering discounted rates on their comprehensive tools tailored for child safety online.

Bark features include:

  • Content Monitoring: Tracks texts, emails, YouTube, and over 30 apps for issues like cyberbullying or violence threats, sending alerts only when necessary.
  • Screen Time Management: Enables setting limits and schedules for internet access via cell service and Wi-Fi.
  • App and Website Blocking: Allows parents to block specific sites or categories like gaming and streaming services.
  • Location Sharing: Provides alerts and real-time GPS tracking to monitor children’s whereabouts.

Smarter Start Toolkit

Develop healthy digital habits together.

The Smarter Start Toolkit, developed by Screen Sanity in collaboration with UScellular, guides parents on fostering positive tech habits. It encourages setting family rules such as phone-free times during activities like movie nights or car rides. This toolkit helps build trust and communication, crucial for navigating digital interactions responsibly.

Phones Down for 5

Set boundaries.

UScellular’s report shows 41% of Americans seek breaks from their phones, feeling better afterward. Families can establish phone-free zones like dinner tables or bedtime routines. They can also participate in the Phones Down for 5 Challenge, dedicating time to hobbies, outdoor activities, or simply disconnecting to focus on human connections.

Strike a Balance

While cellphones offer many benefits, including staying connected and accessing essential services, maintaining balance is key. As Screen Sanity emphasizes, technology can enrich our lives but creating healthy digital norms is crucial for children’s well-being and development.

UScellular continues to support families in navigating digital landscapes responsibly, fostering a healthier relationship with technology for future generations.

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