If you’re vexed that the sounds around the family dinner table these days have gone from a buzz of conversation to the buzzes, beeps, and tones of smartphones, or if you’ve had enough of only talking to your kids in passing, you will definitely want to check out Screen, a new device coming this summer that will keep your family’s screen time under control.
1Screen was born out of the frustrations of Tali Orad, a Scarsdale-based mom of three. Orad had tried every combination of parental-control apps out there until she decided she’d take matters into her own hands, creating Screen for her family.
With Screen, parents set up the software app on their and their children’s devices, connect the TVs and gaming systems to the Screen console, and then make the house rules. One family may decide, for example, that all cell phones will be off during dinner, while another may choose to power down all gaming devices after 10 pm. Screen works anywhere and with all devices and operating systems but doesn’t require an Internet connection.
Orad emphasizes that her invention is about more than just shutting off electronic devices, however. She says it’s about balance, encouraging families to come up with alternatives to make the best of their “unplugged” time. “And it’s not just for the children’s devices, either; it’s for the entire family,” Orad adds. “One time, my children said to me, ‘Mom, you have Screen for us, but you need to have it, too,’” The result is that at dinnertime now, Orad is available only to her family, which not only sets an example for her kids but also gives them some exclusive mom-time. For more information, visit www.getscreen.com.