Customer Stories: Boomerang and Circle with Disney match made in heaven
As with many parents of children, we have been struggling to keep the peace around usage of tablets and computers in the home. I say in the home because our kids are still youngish (10 and 8) and do not tend to take their devices outside of the school or home yet. Our prime objective was to limit Youtube usage as this was the biggest addiction four our kids and by far the highest percentage of device time was spent on this platform. A complication in our house is that we have a variety of devices to contend with. I am an Android guy, but we have a mix of Android, iOS, Windows, Chromebook, AndroidTV and XBox. Therefore, I wanted a solution that could cut off Youtube usage across all devices if I wanted to. Circle allows this due to it being essentially a firewall/router that limits internet traffic based on mac address of each device and its associated profile.
Setup of the Circle is really easy. The app is fantastic. You just connect it via Wi-Fi and away it goes and auto detects all devices on your network. You then assign each device to a profile (usually one profile per user – although I have a couple of extra to manage Spotify-only devices and the XBox), and setup custom bed times, off-times, time limits per category or app etc.
The reason I have started experimenting with adding Boomerang into the mix is due to the lack of offline control. With our kids, there is still a number of game apps that are highly addictive and can be played offline. The Circle does not help much with this. Young kids need all the help they can get while we are trying to teach them healthy device habits. Being able to completely disable a device at set times for both offline and online is desirable and with Boomerang we can do this.
The interesting subtlety I have seen since deploying Circle in our house is the fact whilst our kids declare they do not like it, they seem to demonstrate a kind of respect for it. They certainly do not openly argue with it as they might have done with us previously when we asked for a device to go off. The Circle takes their wrath without flinching and the number of arguments around off-time is definitely decreasing.
Going forward, I see a place for the Circle as it limits all online activity across any device on the network. I will probably also use Boomerang too, as the addictive and obsessive behaviour is more prevalent on iOS and Android devices and Boomerang handles management of these devices completely.
I am trying to be as open and inclusive as I can when implementing the Circle and Boomerang in our house. I want it to be a tool that we use with the kids to establish healthy habits and make good choices for the future, as we know that as they progress in age, and start using devices outside the home more, the ability for us to implement big-stick controls will diminish or disappear completely.
We have amazing users! Unsolicited stories such as the one below on the impact Boomerang has had in helping parents manage their family’s technology, we will share with the world and hopefully other parents can see the real world benefits of using a parental control app to keep an eye on things (we share these stories on our blog with permission)
-Justin, cofounder and product evangelist