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We share our personal experiences with our favorite tech products in depth.

Circle Home

Do you sit at the dinner table and focus on your phone or laptop? Gulping, missing your mouth with the spoon, unaware of others or absent in the conversation? This is the time of year to change poor habits and Circle Home is a technology tool that will help everyone in your family along the path of engaging and connecting with the physical world for better mental, emotional and physical health.

On New Year’s Day, I watched a @GMA segment about setting screen time limits; how to keep your kids from getting addicted to devices. Studies have shown that screen time is associated with anxiety in teens; there are medical, sleep and academic impacts from extended time online. GMA conducted a challenge which required teen girls to abstain from social media for 2 weeks. The girls concluded for themselves that they were more balanced, rested and stress-free than they were before the challenge. They also learned that they were more productive, fought less with their parents and felt child-like joy while away from social media. With the input of psychologists and scientists, it was concluded that kids hate limits (no surprise), but they want and need limits (a little surprised). The segment ended with recommendations for tools that could help eliminate the parental tug of war over screen time limits and activate shutoff times automatically, using the Circle Home device.

The segment brought back memories of my own efforts to manage screen time for my children with the goal of increasing their reading, communication and physical activity. Ten years ago, I used a combination of the parental controls in the cable modem router for WiFi access at home, parental controls through our cell phone service for cellular internet data and the Bob TV Timer for offline gaming, when your kid swaps X-Boxes with a friend to bypass MAC address filters (kids are resourceful!) and TV watching. Of course, kids tried VPN’s, poaching WiFi from the neighbors’ networks and more. I thought it was a great way to get them to learn more about how computers worked! To read a full review, I recommend you checkout this link.

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