Customer Stories: It was this, or a hammer
It was this, or a hammer.
That’s what I told myself when I downloaded Boomerang and the SPIN browser last night. Over the last three years, my twin teenaged boys have had a rampant pornography addiction. They were introduced to YouTube at a friend’s home when they were 11, and would spend their nights looking up videos on their tablets in the wee hours of the morning. When I discovered it, we spent night after night, and then month after month taking devices away, setting parental controls, agreeing on rules, and then finding they’d broken them. Wash, rinse repeat.
Let me be clear: my boys are exceptionally good, obedient boys. They want more than anything to be rid of this illness. Because pornography itself causes feelings of isolation, depression, and shame, over the years I have watched my amazing, beautiful children spiral through cycles of guilt and self-hatred, no matter what kinds of messages my husband and I have tried to send. It has been so disheartening, as their mother, to feel so powerless to help them.
Over the years, we have tried several different versions of filtering software. As we’ve implemented these (in concert with other household rules and therapeutic strategies), my boys have actually been able to disengage some from their addictions. However, often the software would be buggy, or not allow the settings or task manager to be locked down, so they boys were able to shut it off without our knowledge. Recently when this happened, I was so desperate to put an end to the addiction cycle that, in an uncharacteristic fit of anger, I took their tablets and smashed them with a hammer! I turned to go back upstairs and discovered them both standing a few paces behind me, sobbing. As I began to apologize for my outburst, to my great shock, they both thanked me profusely for breaking the tablets! They were both “so glad for it to be over” that they were in tears.
Over this last year, we have allowed my boys to have phones, knowing our war against pornography would continue. We have all done our best. I am so extraordinarily grateful to have found a filtering software that will help monitor my sons’ YouTube history. Because they will know I am watching, and because Boomerang’s software is so much more responsive and comprehensive, I feel far more secure than I have in years past. I know I will still have to be vigilant, and that in the end, this fight really belongs to each of my boys. But I finally feel like, with Boomerang, I have a partner by my side.
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