Protecting Your Teens
THIS IS A REBLOG FROM Benjamin Kerns WITH AVERAGE YOUTH MINISTRIES
A LOOK AT THE APP “CIRCLE” BY DISNEY.
As a youth pastor, I get asked all the time, “How do I protect my kids from porn?” “How do I manage my kids’ online consumption, especially because every device has become so personalized?” To be honest, until these last few months I have had little help to offer.
A month ago, I bought Circle, by Disney, and it has revolutionized the way I protect my home, my kids, and myself from the many pitfalls that the online world has.
Circle, by Disney, is a device that syncs up to your wireless router. It is simple to set up and simple to use. I am one of the least technological people I know. My tech ability peaked with setting the VCR. Even for someone like me, the set up was easy as pie. Simply follow the directions that are explained by pictures and before you know it, every device that connects to the internet from your router now goes through the Circle.
Once you synced up you have the opportunity to set profiles for everyone in your house. Every profile can have as many restrictions as you would like. My wife has the most freedoms, then me, and then we really lock it down for the kids.
This device really does it all!
It filters out adult content:
All of our devices protect against adult content. In order to check, I had my precious wife search for as many dirty things as she could come up with. She is so precious that “nude girls” was about as dirty as she could come up with. And sure enough, dirty pics got filtered out. She searched “porn” and only sites that help with porn addiction made it through. Pretty amazing!
It limits time online:
You can set each device to have access to the internet around certain hours. Our kids can’t get online before 7:00 AM or after 9:00 pm. Not only does it limit each device in a macro sense, you can also specify how much time you want to allow for specific apps. Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Minecraft, and Netflix, to name a few are all at your finger tips and you can add timers for each one if you would like. My kids get Netflix 2 hours a day.
The access is controlled easily by you:
On you phone is a Circle app. From this app you can control every profile and every device. You can add more time to specific apps, or you can shut the whole thing down. It was pretty fun to get your kids’ attention by pausing the entire internet for dinner. My daughter has even complained that I now have too much power. 🙂
If you are concerned about what your kids are doing online, if you would like to view their histories, limit their access, protect them from porn, then this is the device for you. For $100 anyone can now fully control and protect their home.
Some miscellaneous thoughts:
I get that this doesn’t solve all problems. I get that our kids will see messed up stuff on their friends’ phones when they are at school or sleepovers. I get that this isn’t a total solve. However it protects your kids as they are learning about the internet and how to explore it in a way that is safe. It also protects your kids from watching porn all night in their room by themselves. It protects them from the hours and hours of unmonitored hours and time on social media that is unsupervised. And it is these countless hours alone in their room that cause way more damage than the limited time at school and their friends’ homes.
Also, if you are an iphone family, I don’t care how old your kids are, YOU MUST LOCK DOWN THEIR PHONE. I am a man in my 40’s and have locked my phone down. Apple has an amazing filter for their adult content, and every parent should use this feature. Your kids will cry a little bit, but it sure beats the alternative, which is not having a phone at all. I am sure there are android options, but, like I said above, I have no tech skills.
We as adults must get our own online life in order, and WE MUST PROTECT OUR KIDS FROM BEING SUCKED INTO THE INTERNET. It is for their emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
Good luck out there!