For my last ‘smart.network & teens’ episode, I decided to check in with my eldest daughter Carmel, and get her input on the smart.network technology. Here is what she had to say:
Ofer: What do you think about smart.network
Carmel: It sucks
Ofer: Ok, but can you elaborate
Carmel: I don’t like that we have no privacy anymore
Ofer: I don’t like that we have an agreement on how the phones will be used, and you go into your room and forget about it…
Ofer: Anything good about the technology? Think about it from my perspective. I don’t have to constantly ask you what you are doing.
Carmel: I got one, we argue less!
Ofer: That’s really good, no?! Anything else?
Carmel: No more buffering
Carmel is right. Since smart.network got deployed, we do argue less, a lot less, but I am not happy that my kids hate what I do for a living.
I carefully considered Carmel’s feedback, and while I didn’t come up with a way to make her fall in love with the technology, I did talk with her about what we can do to make the experience more pleasant.
Currently, if a teen is in violation of an activity at a particular time, let’s say streaming video at 11 pm on a school night, I get an alert. Then, I have to either block their device or walk to them and ask them to stop. Neither solution is practical. I consider ‘blocking a device’ to be brute force and does not allow the teens to use their devices for homework. Besides, they can switch to LTE and rack up data to the limit. Walking up to them each time can get old pretty quick, not to mention I may not be near them.
So we came up with this idea: A pre-warning.
Let’s say Carmel is watching a movie when she is supposed to be sleeping, or hanging on Instagram when she is supposed to do homework. Smart.network will first send her a notification that this is in violation of an activity policy. She would then be able to stop the activity and prevent an alert from being sent to the “spy” (that’s me.)
This is very similar to the good-cop-bad-cop. Think about it, smart.network becomes the teen’s friend by giving them a tip before the bad cop gets engaged. All’s well that ends well!
What’s next? A challenge to test how many videos I can stream buffer-free with only 3Mbit, with and without smart.network. While testing this, I run into some performance issues on our end, which the team is working on. Stay tuned!