It’s so challenging to raise children. We need all the help we can get. For me, help came in the form of a filter on my phone.
I felt a huge burden come off my shoulders the day I installed a Netspark filter.
Today, I’m just going to try to write from the heart, because I know the issue of “smartphones” is something that is on a lot of our minds and gets everyone fired up. I think that the only way I could address the topic is just by being straightforward and honest.
I don’t need to go into detail about the great conveniences that smartphones afford us. Nor do I need to go into details about the pitfalls. I think we’re all aware of both sides and grapple with it.
A filter might have something we’ve thought about as a solution, but some might think, “Because of the nature of my work, I can’t have restricted access. I need to be able to get to the information I need when I need it” or “I heard filters slow down a phone. I can’t be slowed down.” Others might think, “I only look at only kosher content anyway and I don’t need a filter.”
I’ve definitely belonged to all these camps at different points. And I’m going to respond to all these statements.
“Because of the nature of my work, I can’t have restricted access. I need to be able to get to the information I need when I need it.”
One colleague, who works in marketing, loves Netspark because he’s able to set the social media filters to levels that guard him from unkosher content, and he’s still able to use social media to market his clients. For him that’s a win-win. For someone that has a business with a social media presence, you can stay safe from harmful content you don’t need, while still getting your work done. It’s not all-or-nothing.
This is the chief reason why I love Netspark. You can customize it completely to YOUR needs. I can set the restriction level for any category of website. I can also list whichever websites I want completely off limits or completely allowed. Customize it to the needs of you, your business, and your family! I personally want to keep open Torah and food-related websites, as that’s what I need for work. You can set any level of restriction, from light, moderate, strict, or block all.
“I heard filters slow down a phone. I can’t be slowed down.”
This is absolutely not true. I’ve now been using Netspark for quite some time, and my phone operates just as optimally as it always did.
“I only look at only kosher content anyway and I don’t need a filter.”
For those of you who only look at kosher content, even if you don’t worry about yourself, you do need to worry about your kids, who are very impressionable. Sometimes, I’d find that often, when I’d give my children my phone when they received a phone call (“Hello!! Tell your friends that we have a landline!!!”), I wouldn’t get it back when the call was done and I wouldn’t always realize it right away. Even if they would just be using it to look up sports scores (I don’t have games on my phone and downloads are restricted), I was still concerned. I’m careful about my children’s exposure and I didn’t want to slip up.
Installing a filter now guards against that. But for me, the filter would guard against something way more important.
My personal goals when installing the filter:
More important than what we tell our kids to do and not do–is the example we set.
If I told my kids that a phone was only for “tachlis,” if I was going to talk the talk, I’d have to walk the walk. One of my nieces said it best: ‘We don’t want our kids to think the phone is something we ‘do’ to relax.”
Even if I didn’t have a desire to look at unkosher content, I wanted to guard myself from wasting time on my phone. By blocking things which are unnecessary, the filter has helped me achieve that. As a parent, it’s my responsibility to control what my kids see. It’s also my responsibility to set an example. To accomplish these goals, my Netspark filter has been the greatest aid.
We all have different needs. For those that don’t need a smartphone at all, kol hakavod. You’re lucky. But for those that do, it is possible to get rid of the garbage and make your tool into a device that’s truly an aid rather than a distraction.
A filter is not a scary thing. It’s our greatest helper in being our most productive at work and our most responsible as a parent.
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