My time as tech manager

April 8, 2012

Like many moms, Jessica Torres has a house full of technology – four laptops, an iPad, two iPhones, two iPods, an iPod touch and two desktop computers. OK, maybe it sounds more like an Apple Store than a house, but for good reason. Jessica and her husband live in Reno and run two businesses. She has three blogs, three Twitter accounts (one of which has more than 53,000 tweets!), three Facebook fan pages and her personal Facebook page to manage. That’s a lot of digital time!

I found out about Jessica, 30, through her blog My Time As Mom. As another mom submerged in a digital world, I asked Jessica for her insights on managing technology with her 2- and 8-year-old girls.

“We don’t really have any rules about screen time,” Jessica says. “Rather we just monitor them each day with the devices. We try not to let the kids have too much time on any of the devices because we don’t want them to miss out on the world around them. However, it’s hard because they see me spending so much time online because of everything I do.”

Her 8-year-old owns a laptop and an iPod touch. Jessica says the iPod touch was a gift last Christmas.

“For the first month she was always on it at home,” Jessica says. “We started telling her to put it down at certain times. Since then, she has started to spend less time on it – maybe one hour a day.”

The laptop gets one or two hours of use a week and has parental security set up so certain websites can’t be accessed. Jessica says her daughter mostly uses the laptop to look up things she wants to know more about and to learn to type.

“Next year, we are planning on homeschooling her, so I’m sure that she will be spending more time on the computer,” Jessica says.

As for the 2-year-old (almost 3), Jessica says she gets to use the iPhone and the iPad for games and YouTube videos of Dora, Diego and Mickey Mouse.

“I have been in the middle of potty training my toddler, so as a reward she would get to use my phone or the iPad to watch a video while she was on the toilet (hopefully not TMI),” says Jessica.

I think every parent would agree that potty training brings out all the bribes! Check out Jessica’s blog post on the topic: Potty tricks.

Looking to the future, Jessica says she and her husband plan to manage their children’s technology habits closely.

“My kids will not be allowed to join Facebook or Twitter until they are age appropriate and mature enough to understand the sites,” she says.

“Our children will not have cell phones until at least high school,” she says. “I see kids today in my daughter’s elementary school who are in second and third grade with cell phones hidden under the lunch table. We will get our kids cell phones when they are old enough to drive and have a job.”

And maybe that job will be running a successful blog, just like their mother!

9 Responses to “My time as tech manager”

  1. Katie Says:

    Great post! We are computer/gadget junkies here, and have totally projected that onto our boys, lol. We homeschool AND the hubs and I both work from home, so we all spend a good deal of time looking at a screen of some sort.

    The boys are ages 7 and 12, and they both do have a desktop computer, an iPad (these were hand-me-downs when my husband and I upgraded) and an iPod touch.

    Having said all that, they do have limits. They are allowed to spend as much time as necessary on their computers if they are working within their online homeschool curriculum, Time4Learning, or playing around on other educational websites. They are allowed as much time as they like on their iPads, if they are using them for reading. They can listen to music on their iPods until they drain the battery for all we care, provided the music isn’t distracting them from what they are doing/working on.

    For everything else, they are allowed a total of 2 hours per day for general playing (angry birds, other video games, youtubing crazy cat videos, etc, lol). This is 2 hours combined on all of their computers/gadgets, and includes any time on game consoles. 🙂


  2. Hi Katie … thanks for sharing. It helps so much to hear how other families deal with technology. If you ask my son, you’d think every other kid gets to play Angry Birds all day after school and weekends! lol Online homeschooling programs must be an amazing addition to homeschooling curriculum. And good for you for putting in the time to homeschool!

  3. Thank you very much Laura for featuring me today. Tech is so much a part of the world today so it’s important for kids to learn about it but at the same time enjoy the real world too.

  4. Teresa Says:

    I think the more we forbid technology (or anything fun, for that matter), the kids will just want it more. Maybe Jessica’s kids don’t think of it as a big deal anymore, since it is a part of their life. My kids are the same way. They will watch cartoons on youtube, or play games on kid-friendly sites, but they would much rather be playing outside. My sister rarely lets her kids use the computer or watch tv and when they visit? They beg to do those things. Everything is better in moderation.

  5. I am a HUGE fan of Jessica. She knows her stuff. Glad to see you feature her!

  6. Technology is such a huge part of our world that we really have no choice but to introduce our kids to some of it. We can, though, teach them moderation. They still need to enjoy life outside of the internet.

    And Jessica? I’ve been using the iPad in the potty training here too. Whatever works!

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