I'm going to partially blame the pandemic on a bunch of my electronic purchases over the last year. I never thought I'd get on the smart home bandwagon, but here I am. Over the last year we've gone from just one smart TV in our library to three smart TV's, a Google home in each bedroom and a Hub in the kitchen, smart LED lights inside and outside, smart light switches and power plugs, and smart motion cameras: all linked with a Google Mesh WiFi system and controlled with a few mobile phone apps. When the pandemic started we were on WiFi that would barely allow access to one computer and we had to upgrade so the kids and I could do our work from home.

Yeah, this pandemic has been expensive but I'm a fan of the control I have now over the electronics in my house. I don't even have to get out of bed to turn off the light anymore at night. I'm especially happy about the control I have over my kids' phones. My wife and I use the Family Link app to schedule time limits and app access for the kids phones and lock them each night at bedtime so they don't sneak off and use them all night. We use the Google Home app to control the other electronics in the house. The kids aren't as excited about it.

One added benefit that kind of also makes me sad is that the Family Link app puts how much screen time we are using front and center. We spend hours each day just on phones. That isn't counting TV or computer screen time. We need a digital detox big-time. At least with Spring Break we are actively making plans to be outdoors and screen-less.

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If Spring Break isn't enough incentive to kill the screens, maybe the chance to get paid to digitally detox is what you need? Reviews.org is looking to pay someone $2,400 who will go 24 hours with no screens. If you are interested you can apply online by this Friday at 5pm.

RECAP: Pandemic Begins 1 Year Ago

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