We get a semi-regular stream of 'feedback' from some of our teenage users. Sometimes it's just swearing "You F#### KOALAS F###### UP MY F###### INTERNET!", but other times it's more considered.
We recently had a teenager write to us talking about how KoalaSafe in the home implied a lack of trust, so we thought we'd take the time to respond and to have something written down for other kids who maybe think there is a trust issue.
Firstly, KoalaSafe was born out of a personal need - and it wasn't about trust. If you've seen the Kickstarter video, you'll know it was an issue with my nephew being obsessed with Minecraft. It was getting in the way of his other pursuits and became a source of conflict between he and his mum. KoalaSafe just gave our family the tools to setup a good healthy schedule - some education time, some minecraft time and some non-screen time.
For teenagers, it can feel a bit more of a trust issue, if they already have good time habits and feel the filtering is borne out of a lack of trust. We have not had a single parent say to us they want to implement KoalaSafe out of lack of trust. They just want peace of mind their kids aren't getting exposed to the worst parts of the Internet before they're ready. It will be different for every child, every teen and every family.
So, let's say you're a teenager and you feel you're being unfairly treated at home. What should you do, short of emailing some swear words to KoalaSafe?
Talk to your parents.
Explain - calmly - how you feel, why you feel that way and suggest how you might come to a compromise re: Internet access. Maybe you can agree some behaviour with mum and dad and if you take on that responsibility and stick to it, you might find they're open to relaxing the rules. Even if they're not ready to make changes right away, if you discuss it with them in adult terms and keep it civil, you'll find yourself in a much better position the next time you need to negotiate something.
One of the strengths of KoalaSafe is that it can open up dialogue about technology use among the family. Embrace it!
You can purchase KoalaSafe on our online store.