Many moons ago when we first became a Verizon FiOS customer, my motivations were purely, unabashedly all about me. I was sick of my internet cutting out as deadlines quickly approached. I was dog tired of spending hours on the phone with customer service. I had a need for speed and my work demanded that I have reliable internet connection so of course I jumped on Verizon FiOS as soon as I got the chance. Slowly, my data hungry ways subsided. No longer did I demand that no one else use an ounce of connection while I worked. Perhaps it wasn’t as bad as all of that, but some days it seems that way compared to the freedom my family has today. Not only can I get through a work day without a hitch, I’ve started taking for granted things like the fact that Whistler can stream Netflix in one room while I work in another. Neither can I remember the last time Ben was able to use lag as an excuse when I KO’ed him.
As much as my motives for becoming a FiOS customer may have been about me, it’s value now lies in what it can do for my family. I’ve raised Whistler to be a digital kid since he got his first iPad at just 11 months old. Thus far, I’ve seen only good things come from his closely supervised relationship with technology but it dawned on me recently that, that relationship is on the cusp of change. A few weeks ago, I gave Whistler (now 6) an old iPod so that he could FaceTime with me while I traveled. Little did I know he would quickly tap into it’s other uses. I was sitting at my desk working one day I kept him home sick from school when a message popped up…
Adorable? Absolutely. But I realized that his new-found reading and writing skills open up more doors than just texting Mommy. It also opens up the doors to the world wide web in a way that wasn’t accessible to him before. I’m excited about the educational opportunities this growing relationship holds as I think about the wealth of knowledge waiting to set fire inside his eager mind, but I wouldn’t be a responsible parent if I didn’t realize it also opens the door to the unsavory side of online information.
Although with the right tools, it’s easier to safeguard him against the things he isn’t ready for. With the built in parental controls on my Verizon FiOS Gateway Router, I can control Whistler’s access to the web through a variety of features including: managing internet usage on each device; turn Internet access on or off on any device; and set time limits on any device on a daily or weekly basis. Best part is most of the controls can be established or changed right from MyFiOS App so I can monitor him even while I’m traveling.
As you can see, I currently have it set to only allow internet access to the device weekdays from 6-8:30pm during the week so that I don’t have to worry about him playing in the morning before school or at night after he’s “gone to bed”. Having a pre set schedule has another advantage – it’s one less thing I have to nag about! While this schedule works well for when I am home, when I’m traveling I want to be able to FaceTime and text at hours other than these so I love that I can easily change the settings from anywhere.
Being able to keep him safe while allowing him to access all of the Nat Geo wildlife videos, books and games he can get his hands on brings peace of mind. Bonus, I can allow him to take it all in without sacrificing my internet speed or connection.
Even though I am a Verizon #LifeonFiOS Ambassador and I have received product or services for this post, they have not influenced what I’ve said. All opinions and thoughts are 100% honest and mine, all mine.