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Circle with Disney offers parents a way to easily monitor their kids' online activities

By midian182
Nov 5, 2015
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  1. With the myriad of internet-connected devices available in most family homes these days, it can be a difficult task for parents to monitor their kids' internet browsing habits and how long they spend online. Now, a new device from Disney Interactive and Circle Media Inc. claims to be able to protect children from the dangers found online, as well as restrict the amount of hours they spend surfing the internet.

    Circle with Disney is a device that works alongside an iOS app that allows parents to filter web content, set “bedtimes,” block ads, view insights and usage history, and even pause access to a household’s internet entirely.

    Circle with Disney works by wirelessly hooking up to a home’s router, giving parents control over all connected devices. It’s charged via a power cord or microUSB, and can last a few days on a full charge. The accompanying app allows profiles to be created for each family member and group devices according to each profile. The number of hours someone spends online is tallied up across all the devices owned by that person.

    Additionally, the device also provides a curated selection of Disney content for children, including videos, blogs, gifs, emojis, music, games, and social media postings, promos and more. Sadly it doesn’t go as far as offering any feature-length movies.

    While there are a number of other items on the market which offer control over what children see online, many are confusing for non-technically minded parents, often limited to one device, or prohibitively expensive. Retailing at $99, Circle with Disney could provide an easy and affordable solution to the problem. For now, the app is only available for iOS, but an Android version will be availabe in 2016.

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    Sweet! I'd use this all the way until my daughter moves out! Although teenagers would be smart enough to get around it using hotspots, other networks, etc.
     
    Hexic likes this.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    As someone who was more recently a kid, I think it's pretty crappy to watch every single thing all of of your children do on the Internet. Prevent them from accessing dark corners? Great. But to deprive them of any privacy..
     
  4. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 284   +132

    They have no privacy, nor should they think they have the illusion of privacy. They are kids. 8, 14, or 17. They don't own the house, internet, bills, anything. No ownership = no real responsibility. No real responsibility = no 'adult' benefits.

    This isn't implying to treat your kids in a archaic way - however eluding them to the idea that they have more power than they actually do (or should have) leads to poor adulthood later on.
     
    Reehahs, stewi0001 and davislane1 like this.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    since when is privacy synonymous to power? depriving people of privacy as children seems more likely to cause paranoia and/or guilt later on in life.
    You don't earn privacy because you "own" things, you inherit the right to privacy because youre a human being. But hey, you do you.
     
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,565   +2,373

    Third parties (peers, etc.) have a greater influence on children's development into adulthood than parents do. Failing to dictate what they are allowed to consume from birth until independence is rolling the dice.

    Take it from someone who has seen the "give them freedom" approach backfire fantastically in spite of "strong values" and "loving parents," that ain't a gamble that loses gracefully.
     
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    As ive said, I am all for limiting access if thats what you feel you need to do. But what are you going to do, read over your kids' conversations with their friends? I know of plenty of parents who would shame their children for looking for answers to perfectly innocent questions. Perhaps I just come from a different background where I see parents judging kids harshly based on their web searches or something. Whats their business is their business, and shouldnt become your business unless it shouldnt have been theirs to begin with. So maybe I shouldnt say its bad to monitor, just bad to be overbearing and judging about what youre monitoring.
     
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    He's doing something called 'parenting' you've probably heard your parents say something along the lines of 'when you have kids, you'll understand'. I'll save you the cliche and try to explain a little now.

    So far as young kids are concerned, kids under 10 let's say... they NEED a good example and NEED guidance. that's not just me saying they should have it, they actually need it so they know how the world works. Kids without good guidance get a baseline anxiety and unease about the world around them and they build up personal defenses that prevent them from making normal relationships. It's one reason kids whose parents didn't love them turn in to bullies.

    You honestly can't deprive a 6 year-old of privacy from their parents because they have no understanding of what it is. And there's a good reason for this... if (god forbid) some adult wants a little 'private time' with your kid and tells them what they talked about is 'their little secret' then that kids NEEDS to know ahead of time that there is no such thing as a secret from mom and dad.

    The only time a kid ever asks for privacy is when they're doing something they're not supposed to be doing.
     
    trgz and Reehahs like this.
  9. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    It's fascinating reading all of this. The majority of people I have been close to growing up have crippling anxiety from OVERguidance. Not because they don't know what to do, but because they are terrified they aren't doing it correctly to the standards they have been raised to.

    And sorry if I wasn't considering 6 year olds in the whole privacy thing. Six year olds shouldn't be allowed near the internet if you ask me. I was thinking more along the lines of 11-15 or so.
    But I'll just assume you people know what you're talking about and be on my way now.
    I'm not trying to be argumentative here at all it's just fascinating to get different perspectives because I've only ever seen the same specific scenarios around me.
     
  10. Loafer

    Loafer TS Member Posts: 20

    You honestly can't deprive a 6 year-old of privacy from their parents because they have no understanding of what it is. And there's a good reason for this..[/QUOTE]
    It's fascinating reading all of this. The majority of people I have been close to growing up have crippling anxiety from OVERguidance. Not because they don't know what to do, but because they are terrified they aren't doing it correctly to the standards they have been raised to.

    And sorry if I wasn't considering 6 year olds in the whole privacy thing. Six year olds shouldn't be allowed near the internet if you ask me. I was thinking more along the lines of 11-15 or so.
    But I'll just assume you people know what you're talking about and be on my way now.
    I'm not trying to be argumentative here at all it's just fascinating to get different perspectives because I've only ever seen the same specific scenarios around me.[/QUOTE]

    Your not wrong don't worry. It's just there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to these sort of decisions. What's appropriate for one child won't be for another. As a parent of a 16 yr old and a 10 yr I can say with confidence that my 16 yr old is 'entitled' to some privacy but with some guidance. The most important thing is allowing your children to talk about their life experiences without fear of guilt or condemnation. Trust is a difficult thing to regain, but it works both ways.
     

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