What if you had a resource that could help every family in your church? What about every family in your community?
There is an amazing resource coming out called Circle. Circle is a smart device and app that allows your family to manage all of your home’s connected devices. With Circle, parents can filter content, limit screen time and set a bedtime for every device in the home. Circle can even pause the Internet. We wrote an article in 2013 about it before disney bought it called, “Gadget of the month: Circle“. We knew back then that the device could change the way that people live their lives online. It really could help parents build boundaries in a digital world.
Here are the things we love about what we have learned about Circle so far:
The price. $99 is a great price for a gadget that will be an add on to your wireless hub. This reminds me of the original price of the apple tv. Keeping it under a $100 will allow for more parents to buy this to help manage their home connections.
Setting time limits. I think that we all should have a digital allowance. We really can have too much screen time. Right now, I track all my app usage with an app called Moment. This app is great to see how much I use my phone each day, but the app is super glitchy. Kids don’t need access to the internet 100% of the time. And they should learn how to use their time like a digital piggy bank. The Circle will help parents do this.
Turning off the internet at night. Whenever I teach a session with parents, I always end up talking to at least one parent about turning off their home internet at night. It’s one way to know that your kid isn’t sitting up in their room downloading or looking at something illegal.
Again, it goes back to the fact that kids or teenagers shouldn’t have unlimited access to the internet. Just because it’s their doesn’t mean you need to access it all the time.
With Circle you can push a button and turn off the internet, or even better you can set a daily time when it turns off and then comes back on in the morning. This is such a valuable tool for parents.
Press pause. I can’t imagine what it will be like when my kids have digital devices, or what they will be like. But, I love the fact that with Circle you can pause the internet and all eat dinner, or watch a movie, or have family time.
This could be such a win for families. What a way that we can all put our devices down for a few minutes and look each other in the eyes around a table of food.
There’s an app for that. Disney is building an app called Circle go. Circle Go allows you to enable Circle’s features anywhere, for any network your kid’s devices join. Even 4G. At home or on the go, Circle settings remain in effect no matter where your family travels. Same Circle awesomeness, now outside your home network.
I love this feature. You will know what is going on with all your devices all the time.
With all that said, it will take time for parents to adopt this. I think that this could be a huge win for you as a youth pastor. All you need to do is share the information with the parents in your youth ministry. Help them see the need for it, and then help them get Circle. Circle is truly going to change the way people access the internet, and I think it will allow families to take more control at what their kids are doing online.