This post is in partnership with Comcast Washington.
We’ve been home since March 6, which means we’ve been home over 90 days. NINETY DAYS.
Three months of learning our “new normal” of being at home all the time, always connected doing school work, watching movies, playing games and being active on social media. Our screen time usage was up. WAY UP. In fact, we’re connected more than ever. We’ve had a significant screen time shift as my kids are spending several hours a day learning on computers. This is before they watch a movie or play a video game on a tablet. I’m connected more than ever too, managing my blog, online grocery delivery and helping my kids navigate their digital classrooms.
As a Comcast subscriber, we have valuable tools right at our fingertips to help us better manage our screen time and device usage as a family. The Xfinity xFi app. It’s been really helpful for our family, from turning off screens at bedtime, to making sure we find time to connect with each other and take care of our mental health too.
We’ve been spending so much more time online, and we need to take control and find a balance between it all.
Getting the most out of the Xfinity xFi app
To best manage your family’s screen time, you will want to make sure it’s downloaded on your phone, it’s available for both Apple and Android users. The Xfinity xFi app will help you effectively manage screen time in a way that is best for your family. If you’re an Xfinity Internet subscriber with an xFi Gateway, you can access the xFi experience at no additional cost through the mobile app, website or the app on the Xfinity X1 TV Box.
Step 1: Set up a profile for EVERYONE in your home.
Start with setting up an xFi profile for each household member. Have a regular sitter? Does Grandpa come over often? Add them too. You can also have a generic household profile for things like your Smart lights, family room TV etc. This is important and will help you manage everyone’s devices. I love that in addition to an iPad, I can turn off light controls, the xBox and more.
Step 2: Identify devices
Once you have everyone’s profiles set up, make sure you assign their devices. This is one of my favorite features as it allows different family members to have different screen time rules. As soon as a device joins your home network, the xFi app alerts you. This means if your child’s friend comes over with their tablet, you can assign it to their profile. Bonus: You can name it so you know who it belongs to.
Step 3: Set limits
“Active time limits” help determine how long a profile can spend on your home network each day.
Having “downtime limits” whether it’s for bedtime, school work or family meals is important. The xFi app allows you to turn of the Internet, at a time determined by YOU. Use these controls to reconnect as a family, get some sleep, or just take a break!
Step 4: Lead by example
Don’t forget to set screen time limits for yourself. It’s hard not to always have your phone in hand, especially right now, but this is where setting screen time limits as a family can help. This also means you need to put your phone in airplane mode, or a conscious effort to not pick it up and use data.
Choose the right screen time rules for your family
What I like most about the xFi app is that we can define our own screen time. Every family is different and everyone’s rules are different. Our rules could change in a week, or they could change tomorrow. The xFi app makes it easy to adjust screen time to fit our needs, and that’s important.