Technology

Are Smart Appliances Worth The Cost?

smart kitchen

Like many people, my husband and I were very excited by the idea of replacing our appliances in the kitchen and our washer and dryer with smart appliances. There are so many high-end smart appliances these days that can do everything except put the food away for you that we were a little intimidated by all the features that these new smart appliances have. And the price tags are pretty high, so wanted to be sure that investing in a smart fridge, a smart stove and other appliances would be worth the cost. We decided that we would try out a smart fridge, a smart stove to see if they were as life-changing as the sales material said they would be. When we brought them home I was very skeptical. My husband, who is a tech geek, was so excited he practically didn’t leave the kitchen after the smart stove and fridge were installed. And even after he left the room I caught him on his smartphone pulling up the camera on the fridge to look inside it like he was discovering an entirely new world. It’s a good thing he didn’t have the same fascination in Spy Apps! Here’s my assessment of our smart appliances after we had tried them out for a full month: The Smart Fridge I thought this one was going back to the store for sure. I mean, how could we possibly need a fridge with a camera on it? A screen? Sensors of all kinds? It seemed too space age and very unnecessary. But in order to make sure I was giving it a fair shake I also tracked the grocery spending for the entire month. And it turns out the smart fridge saved us a lot of money on food costs. The fridge had a sensor that would tell me when the produce and fruit needed to get eaten, so we saved money by eating that food instead of throwing it out after the expiration date. It also saved money by reminding me when the milk and eggs were about to expire. When I went to the grocery store I’ll admit it was decadent and extremely helpful to be able to look in the fridge and see if I needed to buy eggs, cheese, salad dressing, and other items. I saved a lot of money by being able to buy just what I needed. The smart fridge ended up being a smart buy and it’s staying. It’s amazing how easily tech can change our lives. The Smart Stove The smart stove also turned out to be a real game changer. I love having the ability to turn the stove on to preheat when I’m on my home. And I never have to worry if the kids have left the stove on because I can turn it off from anywhere. It makes cooking for large parties and cooking different types of foods together with a snap. I don’t know how I got along without it. Investing in smart appliances was a great decision for us, and it probably would be for you too.

Internet

Avoiding Drama In Online Parenting Groups

online parenting groups

Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to avoid drama on online parenting groups. There’s always misunderstandings, disagreements, and other problems that blow up quickly into feuds and bullying. But online parenting groups on social media sites are known for being unusually filled with drama and bad feelings. Maybe it’s a lot of sleep-deprived cranky people trying to interact. The good news is that you don’t have to participate in the drama. You can choose to not get involved when people are attacking each other or just being mean to other parents. Follow these tips you can manage to build good relationships in parenting groups. Don’t run the risk of becoming a target for drama and bullying. And definitely, don’t start hacking Facebook messages from the other person.    Refrain From Posting Sometimes I know you’re laughing at that one because parents are always tired. Always. But when you haven’t slept well or haven’t slept enough you’re going to be crankier than usual. You might misinterpret a post in the group and be snide or snarky remark. When the original poster never meant to cause offense. The best way to prevent unknowingly starting drama and attacking other parents unnecessarily is to not post when you’re tired. Turn off your phone until you get a nap or at least shut your eyes at your desk.  Compose Your Thoughts Carefully It’s incredibly easy to misunderstand the tone of a post online. On the Internet, there are no verbal or visual cues to let people know that you meant. If your post is a joke or you’re trying to be sarcastic. That means that people can misread your intention and may get offended when you were only trying to be funny or thoughtful. That’s why you should always write out your post then take a beat and think about it. Read it again and edit it before you post it to make sure that your intention is clear. Don’t just fire off a message without looking at it twice. Walk Away One of the best things about online social media parenting groups is that you can put your phone down. Or turn it off and walk away when the drama starts. You don’t have to get involved. So if you do end up on the receiving end of some anger or hurt feelings don’t respond right away. Responding will just enrage the other person more. Instead turn your phone off and walk away for awhile. Come back to the conversation after you have had a chance to think of a rational response. Apologize No one likes being wrong, but everyone is wrong sometimes. When you are wrong in an online social media group to admit it right away. Don’t try to talk your way out of a mistake. If you were a jerk own up to it and apologize. The other group members will respect your honesty. And they may return the apology when and if they make a mistake. If you enjoyed this, let us know what you think of the post. Check out more articles online from Healing Reflexions. 

Internet

5 Rules To Keep Your Children Safe On Social Media

social media

5 Rules Parents Need To Follow To Keep Kids Safe On Social Media This Summer It’s summertime and that means that your kids are going to spend the next few months social media free. For all that could end up hurting them. In the summer kids tend to get lax about obeying social media rules. They want to post photos and videos and enjoy chatting with friends. But parents need to set some good ground rules for kids using social media during the summer. Especially for teens who spend the summer practically glued to their phones and tablets… While there are many alternatives out there to make sure your kid is safer on the internet such as cell phone spy apps, automated computer locks, etc. Here are 5 best rules that parents should be using to keep their kids safe on social media this summer: No Unapproved Photos Summertime is a time when it’s easy for kids to forget the rules about what is considered an appropriate photo and what isn’t. And with summer clothing styles getting skimpier every year your teens may end up posting selfies or photos that they will later regret. So for the summer, a good rule for parents to enforce is that a parent has to approve all photos before they can be posted on social media. Sometimes that cooling off period between when the child takes the photo and when a parent approves it can make a big difference. Be sure to check all the photos on your child’s phone too in order to be sure there are no inappropriate photos on there. No Location Tagging Kids love to tag themselves at the pool, at the local ice cream hang out, and other fun places. But your kids should never be publicly tagging their location on social media. Doing this makes them too easy for anyone to find. Make sure that you turn off the geolocating setting on your child’s phone. And let them know they should never be tagging their location in any social media post. Limit Time Online It’s summertime. Kids shouldn’t be on their phones all day. Institute 2 or 3 hours with no phone time so kids, force them to do something else offline. When there are family outings planned make a rule that cell phones need to be turned off. So that the family can spend time together. Check Privacy Settings Parents should be periodically checking the privacy settings on their child’s phone or tablet. To be sure that the kids aren’t visiting inappropriate websites or content. This will lock down their profiles and make it harder to find. Kids can sometimes change those privacy settings without parents knowing so parents, check those privacy settings. Even though your child will probably get annoyed. As a part of this, it is also important to identify what Facebook knows about you & your children. TheGrapeVineGossip wrote a great blog post about that.  Block Block Block Your child will probably get a lot of new friend requests and messages during the summer. When kids are out of school and have a lot of free time. Don’t be afraid to use those block features on social media and block any user that looks sketchy. That sends an inappropriate message or seems a little off. If you liked this blog post, you should check out our blog post: The Dangers Of Youtube For Kids

Technology

I Gave My Elderly Mother An Amazon Echo And It Changed Her Life

An iPhone spy app can help you keep your elderly loved one safe.

My mom is 80 years old and isn’t exactly up to speed on modern technology. But after my dad died, she became very lonely. She has friends, but living alone has been hard for her. Because my siblings and I live far away, we can’t visit very often. My sister got her an iPhone and taught her to FaceTime, so we can video chat. I also use an iPhone spy app to keep track of where she is, for her safety. But I felt like that wasn’t enough. I wanted to know that she’s safe while she lives alone. So for Christmas this year, I gave her an Amazon Echo. And it changed her life. Why My Mom Loves Alexa My mom was stunned by all the different things that Alexa can do. I knew that the Echo would be good for her, but I had no idea just how helpful it would end up being. Now, my mom is cooking meals again because she doesn’t have to squint at a cookbook or a recipe card she can’t really read anymore. Because I keep track of her with an iPhone spy app, I know she doesn’t use the Internet, except for email and Facebook. But Alexa can tell her a recipe or remind her what temperature something needs to cook at. She can tell Alexa what to put on her grocery list, or even order it for her. It makes her life easier in a thousand different ways. Alexa’s reminders are also fantastic for my mom. She doesn’t have to worry about remembering to take her medication or what time her doctor’s appointments are. Alexa will remind her every morning, at the same time to take her medications, and even gives her alerts before her medical appointments. Alexa can even call her an Uber if she doesn’t feel like driving. And if my mom can’t remember a phone number or an address, all she needs to do is ask Alexa. Other Things Alexa Can Do My brothers installed smart plugs in my mom’s house, so she can control the temperature, lock the doors, and make sure the oven is off just by telling Alexa. She can even ask Alexa to brew her morning coffee. In addition, Alexa is the perfect companion for my mom. She can listen to Amazon’s virtual assistant read her books or the news in the morning. The Echo also makes it easy for her to order staples in bulk from Amazon. They’ll just show up at her door, so she doesn’t have to go out and shop for things that she can’t carry well. If you have an elderly parent or family member and you’ve been wondering how you can make their lives better, even though you live far away, get them an Amazon Echo. You will be shocked at how many ways it can improve their quality of life and help them stay safe and happy in their own homes. Plus, you can hook the Echo into security systems to become a backup, voice-activated medical alert system if they need help in an emergency. Get your senior loved one an Echo. You won’t regret it. And while you’re at it, be sure to install an iPhone spy app on their phone, too. This will give you the peace of mind you need to make sure your loved one is safe.