Apr 06 2017

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Circle with Disney: First Impressions

circle with Disney

Circle with Disney: First Impressions

I heard the deep sign twice today. The kind of sigh we all make when technology fails us. But instead of a fail, technology was working for me giving me power over our home wi-fi. With the power of Circle, I pulled the wi-fi plug on my children with a single tap of a button on my iPhone.

They felt confused and stressed when the wi-fi-connected apps stopped working. But nobody died. Instead, it broke the mesmerizing power of the screen and helped them move toward things like…

  •  Conversations with real, live people in the room.
  • Unfinished chores and responsibilities.
  • (The best part) A realization that mom has the power.

I’m not all-powerful, but I can filter websites and shut down access to the internet effortlessly thanks to Circle. That feels amazingly powerful.

I’m my children’s biggest advocate

My children are feeling . . . unhappy with me right now. No one is thanking me for getting the Circle and setting up boundaries and limitations. We put restrictions on screen time already. I did my best to limit their screen time and put filters on sites they visited, but I’m not always on top of my game. My kids found creative workarounds right under my nose.

Kids think that getting around parenting rules is awesome. Parents don’t become smart to a kid’s mind until much later in life—like when they become parents. What kids don’t know is they’re hurting themselves by going out from our parental cover. Unhappy and safer is better than happy and exposed to danger. As an advocate for their best interests, I’m willing to take the heat.

I had been thinking about getting Circle for quite some time.

Whenever I heard about Circle, I thought it was an awesome idea. I’d tried replicating some of the features manually, like literally pulling the wi-fi plug. Or entering a block on a web browser. It was a pain, and my children found new web browsers to bypass the filter.

I knew we needed to give it a try. I was ready—oh, so ready—to stop wracking my brain on how to keep up with the ever-changing internet and protect my children. There’s a sick world out there, and they’ve documented it all with videos and pictures. It makes my heart ache.

When the Circle arrived, it felt like Christmas

I opened the box, and set up the Circle. I plugged it into the wall. Installed the app. Followed the directions. Set up users with filters. I was up and running quickly. (A few minutes later, I tested it out and heard my first sigh. I’m in love.)

I’m okay with my kids being upset

Fierce momma love means being the mean momma sometimes. I don’t like being mean, but it comes with the territory of wanting what’s best for my children. I know my children’s days at home under my protective roof are ticking away fast. Part of my job is to help prepare them for the day they leave and have to make decisions on their own. Setting boundaries isn’t just for kids, it’s part of being an adult too. The difference now is that I’m placing the boundaries on them. Later, they’ll have to do that for themselves.

This Circle product is all very new to our house. We’re working out the kinks of filtered sites and time limitations. I feel great about our decision to buy Circle.

Do you have children?

If you have children in your home and access to the internet, it’s important to be proactive in helping protect them from the harmful garbage on the internet. Circle isn’t the only option to help with that.

I’ve benefited from using OpenDNS, but it didn’t filter enough. Windows and various browsers have blocks, but you need to know how to set it up. Circle is easy to install and use even for the less-than-tech-savy person.

What are you going to do?

If you want to do something to help filter websites and set screen limitations, this is an easy solution. It requires a purchase of a Circle and a download for an iOS or android device.

A few facts:

  1. The download space on iOS is 52.2 MB and Android is 6.63 MB (for those will little space on their phone). A web browser version has been requested, so it could be a feature in the future.
  2. Circle will not control a computer or apps not connected to the internet. If the app doesn’t access the home wi-fi, Circle doesn’t monitor it.
  3. If the device is not using the home wi-fi, it doesn’t filter content either. (I think Circle Go is a subscription for extending the filtering, but I don’t have it at this time.)
  4. Customer service is fast. I asked the questions about storage space and a web browser version and got a response the same day.

I’m not an affiliate with Circle. I didn’t get a free one to try, but I recommend this product. You can get Circle on Amazon here (this is an Amazon Affiliate link) and get it in a couple of days if you have Prime.

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