Emma Bunton and her family have joined Vodafone’s Digital Family Pledge which aims to foster better use of technology.
The Spice Girl, her husband Jade and children Beau and Tate, discuss their family tech habits as part of the campaign.
Emma Bunton and social media
The pop star made an embarrassing slip-up recently when she sent a saucy text intended for her husband…to her mother instead.
Needles to say, she was mortified. But we’ve probably all sent messages to the wrong person sometimes.
Emma Bunton happily admits, though, that tech isn’t her strongest suit.
“I find social media, online content and devices very confusing,” she said.
“But my other half is quite good, so he helps me a lot. And my children, dare I say it, are probably even better than I am.”
Parents lacking tech knowledge
According to YouGov research, nearly half of parents say better knowledge of technology would help them to have more useful conversations with their children.
“With social media, I’m good at posting and I have a bit of fun with it,” said Bunton. “But when it comes to anything technical it’s a toughie. I need help.”
She also knows that it’s easy to over-share if you’re not careful. Bunton explained she was very conscious of keeping her family’s life as private as possible, but also wanted to share some moments with her fans and followers.
“I’m very proud of my family, so we do love to put a few pictures up, but it’s definitely about balance,” she said.
Digital Family Pledge
Vodafone’s Digital Family Pledge encourages families to discuss how they use technology and agree some house rules.
These can be anything from committing to specific times for gaming, charging your phone outside of the bedroom, say, or simply agreeing what acceptable online behaviour looks like.
The intention of the Pledge, which the Spice Girl star and her family endorse, is to encourage families to talk openly about their tech habits and what they can change to make a positive impact on their lives.
Because YouGov research has revealed that a worrying 65% of parents have no idea what their children are doing online.
The Pledge provides expert advice on four hot topics: screen time, being kind online, social media, and gaming.
The Grandma Test
Jade persuaded the children to agree to the “Grandma Test” – which means that before they post anything online Beau and Tate need to think if they would be comfortable showing it to their Grandma first.
If they aren’t comfortable, they shouldn’t post it.
With the Christmas holidays now done and dusted, and new gadgets no doubt filling UK homes, Vodafone suggests now is a good time to gather the family around and agree how you’ll use all this new tech.
How long is too long online? Do you really know who you’re talking to? Is that a nice comment to make about someone’s Instagram photo?
The Bunton-Jones family pledged that in 2020 they would not to be on their phones when they’re speaking with each other; to share more of what they’re doing online with each other; and to have an hour of screen-free time before bed.
Every family’s pledge will be different, so you can tailor it to what suits you, Vodafone said.
“Doing the Digital Family Pledge has really opened my eyes,” Bunton said.
“As a family, we’ve had a proper conversation about how we use our devices, and what we do online.
“All parents worry about their children daily, and I used to worry about how much time they spend on their devices.
“But I’ve learnt today it’s also about what they’re doing online and keeping them safe.”
Her advice is to “set ground rules as a family” and not dictate rules to your children.
The process also helped her and Jade think about their own habits and what they could be doing differently.
The Pledge can be found on Vodafone’s Digital Parenting website, which aims to help families live a safe digital life.