29 June 2022

An App for Caring Parents

Dear Parents,

Your children are going to hate me for revealing this secret to you but I am sharing this because much like I love my daughter and I care about her wellbeing, I am sure you feel the same about your children. 

My daughter is among the first generation of children who are mostly babysat by smartphones and tablets. They know how to handle digital device far better than us. We don't even know what they are doing on their phones, do we? What apps they are using? what contents are they accessing? who are they interacting with? How long are they on their phones?

Giving smartphones to your young children is like sending them on a solo trip into an unknown city. There are two ways you could ensure their safety on the journey; 

  1. either your child is well prepared to fend for themselves against the evil forces out there
  2. or you accompany them on the journey and make sure they are safe. 
I wish our children are prepared to fend for themselves in the cyber world but that's not the case. Everything happened too soon too quickly for them to be able to prepare. Therefore, the only option is to accompany them on the journey;

How? Much like literally accompanying your children on a journey, you have an app called Google Family Link that gives you parental control over your children's devices. It allows you to set screen time for your children, approve app downloads, restrict contents from certain websites, monitor their activities and also physically locate their devices using GPS. 

Physical Well-Being 

Children may not like this but it's only for their safety and wellbeing. During the last lockdown, my daughter was using her phone more than her usual time and I was worried. Her eyesight worsened and she even developed a frequent headache. I suspected it was because of her long screen time but she refuted. It was only after I used Google Family Link that we discovered she spent over 12 hours on her phone. It was a revelation for herself too. She didn't know she used phone that much. Then we mutually agreed to budget her screen time. Things improved. 

The excessive time our children spend on their phones have a huge impact on their physical and social wellbeing. I don't have to tell you much on these subjects. Therefore, it's best to budget their screen time using Google Family Link. You will be shocked to see how many hours our children spend on their phones. Do we even know when you children are sleeping? We are literally blinding them and allowing them to become socially awkward beings. 

Mental Well-Being 

The other more dangerous aspect of being out there in the virtual world on their own is their safety and their mental and emotional well-being. Do you know what sort of contents are they exposed to? Do you know who they are interacting with? Internet can be so unkind to our little children who may not be ready to digest some contents or interact with strangers. They may be at risk of being scammed or being fooled into doing things. If only you knew what sort of apps or websites they are visiting then you will be able to monitor, isn't it? Well, with this app you can do just that. You will see if they are really in the Google Classroom or straying on Tiktok; if they are shooting a video and editing it or simply chatting or gaming. 

My daughter agreed to wait till she attains the legal age of 13 to join Facebook and for now her mother and I are managing her Page Ninzi Show. She's also prohibited from joining other social media platform until the approved age, but that's not without an incident. Every now and then, she is on Instagram or Tiktok. She even has a Facebook account. But we agreed to wait and I know for sure that she isn't breeching her terms because if she did I would know from the App. Many parents have allowed their children on social media way before they are 13, including my nieces and nephews. I hope they are safe. To ensure that, at least see how long they spend on each app and if they spend way too long on certain apps then see what they are doing there(by checking their phones physically, because you don't see what they are actually doing)*.

*Google takes into account the privacy of the children and therefore don't allow parents to spy on everything they are typing or looking at. I am sure they have the children's legal rights taken care. The children must be informed of the features. 

If need be I will soon do a demo video to show how to install and use Google Family Link. 

This awareness post on children's wellbeing in the digital world is brought to you be TashiCell. It's a part of their initiative to create a safe environment for children on the internet. 

The Raven Squad- A Film Review

The Raven Squad was trending so much on social media to ignore. My daughter Ninzi Show insisted on watching it. Moreover, it was long due for me to watch a Kinley Rigzin Dorji movie. I love the young man’s character, attitude and maturity but haven’t watched any of his movies yet. Same for Sonam Max Choki Page.

First thing, I didn’t expect the hall to be housefull after so many days. The stairs were filled with young people who are aspiring to become something like the Raven Squad.
The movie is about a doting father who fails to appreciate his little MJ son. He realizes it a little too late. He loses his son but to keep his son’s dreams alive, he brings many broken dreams together to form the Raven Squad of success. He sacrifices everything to keep the squad dancing because for him that’s the process of healing.
The story may not sound quite new, but the characters and their dance talents make all the difference, not to mention the occasional jabs of humor that are so well crafted and timed. The background of each squad member has a story that is meant to connect to every youth out there; you are one of them. The new faces have done a good job in magnifying those roles. Kids are going to love them so much.
It’s a motivational film; it will inspire a lot of youth to pursue their dreams in not just dancing but in every form of expression that’s there; I loved the way the film has turned the profession of dancing and cab driving into something so attractive. Good Job, Sonam Maekay Penjor. You played the father figure well. I am tempted to play that role.
Besides the youths, the cab drivers are going to love this film. There is one song that I foresee every cab playing from this day on. It will spread love and kindness among them.
And Dear Kinley Rigzin Dorji, I am blown by your flare in acting. You are born for stardom. You have it all in you. Your director, Karma jerry has managed to showcase your talent to the max. Now, I know why the young kids are so in love with you. It’s my first film of Sonam Max Choki too. And O’ boy, she is a breath of fresh air. I am going to watch more of her movies now.
Wish you big at the box office!