For most of us, the technological onslaught begins the minute we open our eyes in the morning: a cell phone alarm wakes us; we check the news, the weather, Instagram; we listen to streaming radio or music while making lunches and prepping breakfast; we check the best route to school and the office. And that’s all before the first (okay, maybe second) cup of coffee.
Connectivity has many wonderful benefits, but as parents, we all worry about just how plugged in our families are. In fact, according to a poll by Abacus Data commissioned by Shaw Communications earlier this year, 89% of adults agree that it is important to put away connected devices at some point every day. The same poll also reports that 96% believe it’s important for parents and caregivers to be able to manage the amount of time their children are connected, as well as monitor what they’re doing and how long they’re doing it. But Moms and Dads can’t be everywhere all the time, monitoring their family’s internet use and screen time, right? (Sure, parents are basically superheroes, but no one can be everywhere at once.)
So, what’s the solution? Enter BlueCurve Home from Shaw, an app that comes free to Shaw customers with the BlueCurve Gateway modem. The products are part of BlueCurve, a simple and powerful new approach to managing in-home connectivity that gives Canadians their best Wi-Fi experience.
The BlueCurve Home app allows parents to see when family members are online and manage their connectivity to all Wi-Fi-enabled devices. This means that parents can pause Wi-Fi access on any or all devices connected to their home network to help family members spend more time together in person, and not in front of a screen.
So battles over iPad versus homework, or bedtime versus gaming are a thing of the past (well, sort of—Shaw can’t guarantee less sulking).
Jill Amery, publisher of UrbanMommies.com, has been using the Shaw BlueCurve Home app in her home for almost three months. The app has provided an easy and intuitive way for her family to manage technology use. “I have two sons, and our whole family uses Wi-Fi extensively,” says Amery. “I love that with the BlueCurve Home app, every member of our household has a profile, and we can monitor usage, but the app doesn’t show what apps or websites are in use, so everyone still has privacy.”
With Shaw BlueCurve Home, parents can view and manage all individual devices connected to the home network so they know who is connected at all times, and that visibility extends to visiting devices.
“When friends come over and connect to our Wi-Fi, I am able to assign the new device to a profile with the same limits as our family,” says Amery. “So that means our kids can’t stay up all night on a friend’s tablet when they come to spend the night!”
The Shaw BlueCurve Home app’s capabilities have prompted some serious conversations about technology in Amery’s household. “It has been eye-opening how much technology has crept into every aspect of our lives.”
Armed with this knowledge, the family has begun to pause the household Wi-Fi during mealtimes, and they have prioritized non-tech activities. “Our smart speakers are never paused though!” says Amery. That way we can always ask for the weather forecast before we play outside or for correct baking conversions when we spend time together in the kitchen.”
Technology makes our lives more convenient and puts a tremendous amount of information at our fingertips. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance. Shaw has shown a commitment to empowering customers with powerful, yet easy-to-use tools that help them find a healthy balance between screen time and together time.
For more information, visit: shaw.ca/bluecurve.