Congratulations on your new computer! Now where are you going to put it to make it available to multiple family members?
One of the best decisions we ever made was putting our first computer in the breakfast nook. That was in 1980. At that point we had no other space large enough to hold the computer, monitor, and printer. So it went onto a desk along the wall of our breakfast nook.
When we moved to a new house, we again set up the computer in the breakfast nook. It was a central location, so even if someone was using the computer they were still in the flow of the family.
It also made it easy to help the children, even when I was cooking. I could easily step into the breakfast nook – or just answer a question from the kitchen.
Since we were early adopters of technology, it was long before online threats and personal security were factors. But if I had it to do over again, I would definitely put the computer in the breakfast nook. Here’s why:
1. The breakfast nook (or kitchen table area) are at the core of the home. No one has to separate themselves from the family in order to work on the computer. That makes it more likely to get used regularly.
2. By placing the screen against the wall it makes visual control of the screen easy, even from across the room. There is no temptation for someone to visit online places they shouldn’t because another family member can easily walk by at any time.
3. That same screen placement makes it simple to share the screen for questions, demonstrations, and watching videos. Just pull up a kitchen chair and enjoy.
4. It encourages conversation about what they are seeing and doing on the computer. That can often lead to difficult questions about online safety – or algebra. But being close and available makes the central location ideal.
But what if you don’t have a breakfast nook or an easily tailored alcove? Then consider rearranging some furniture and some lifestyle choices to put the computer in a central location with traffic passing by regularly. Not only does it provide a measure of online safety, but it’s also a bonding experience.
The value you receive and the lessons your children learn as they are using the computer make the adjustments worthwhile. You won’t regret putting your computer in a central location.