Where have the "screen time" functionality gone?

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I no longer see the functionality for "screen time" within parental control.

It seem to have been replaced by something called "daily internet time", which is not really the same thing.

The new internet time functionality seem to just cut my children's internet connections without telling them it has done so. No prompts or screens or anything. Which makes them come complaining that something is wrong with their devices.

The old screen time functionality showed a screen telling the children they could no longer use the device.

Is it possible to enable such a screen for the new "daily internet time" functionality?

If possible, I would also like to be able to lock their devices in the same way as was previously possible with "screen time". There are lots of apps which don't need internet and several apps are also able to download content locally for viewing off-line.

The old "screen time" functionality could block this, whereas I've not found a way for "daily internet time" to do so.

Anyone knows if it's possible to re-enable the locking down of the children's devices?

Comments

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Hello @Empowered,

    In the new product, there has been a shift from Screen Time to Internet Time, I quote: "With a focus on the child’s online activities, Screen Time is now labeled as Internet Time.

    You may find more information by clicking on the below article:

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/answer/99259/

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Empowered
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    Ok, so "screen time" is no longer an available feature. I do argue that protection of children's eyes would be more important than "internet time", though.

    But to just cut the children's internet connection without any message telling them their "internet time" is up must be a bug?

    My children has asked about it like twenty times in a week, thinking there's something wrong with our internet connection.

    Shouldn't there be a message screen, pop-up message or at least a push notification to give the children information that they have spent all of todays available internet time?

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Hi,

    I think both screen time and internet time revolve around the usage of digital devices and the internet. Both terms refer to the duration spent using digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Whether accessing offline applications or online content, the time spent in front of a screen falls under screen time, and internet time is a subset of this when the activity involves internet connectivity. I think this is really a choice of terms, but essentially they assume the same thing. If you look on the right side of the parental control screen, you'll notice the 'Rewards' section and its description briefly says 'Reward your child with extra screen time if he uses his devices responsibly.'

    Research shows that extended periods of both screen time and internet time can have similar impacts on physical and mental health, including eye strain, poor posture, reduced physical activity, and potential sleep disturbances. The nature of the content, whether accessed offline or online, can affect cognitive development and information retention.

    Regarding a pop-up message to inform the child of their remaining internet time that was previously allocated to them, this is unavailable because there are no longer local settings that can integrate this, the restriction is made via DNS, so this is the intended functionality.

    If you ask me, I think setting the right expectations regarding screen time limits should involve clear communication, consistency, and a collaborative approach. It shouldn't rely only on a pop-up that informs them their online time is up. You can be specific about how much screen time is allowed daily or weekly. For example, “You can have 2 hours of screen time on school days and 4 hours on weekends", so until (x) o'clock and this limit should be set and communicated to them in advance, so they know what to expect and not come back asking.

    Of course, I am not in a position to offer parenting advice to you, but that's how I would personally proceed in this scenario.

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • Empowered
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    This is very similar to how we discuss screen/internet time at home and might work well in theory.

    In practice however, it's quite easy for the children to forget the time they have used and of course they just want to see one more episode of Pokémon (or other series). And another. And one more.

    But the new "internet time" functionality is not stopping them from seeing locally cached episodes, which the old "screen time" functionality did.

    And when the Internet connection is cut in the middle of an online game with no warning and no notification that their internet time is up, the children can get quite upset - because Bitdefender Parental Control no longer tells them why the game just stopped working.

    It just stopped working with not indication what-so-ever with regards to the reason.

    I would therefore say that the new "Internet Time" functionality gives us several problems which we did not have when using the old "Screen Time" functionality.

    If a product developer sees this message, I would therefore like them to consider adding the following functionality.

    1. Give the children some kind of warning five or ten minutes before their time is up.
    2. Make it possible to cut the "screen time" again and not just the "internet time".
    3. Please, please give the children some kind of message when their time is up!

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Hi @Empowered,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I will forward your feedback to the product development teams for analysis. I understand that disconnecting from the internet without prior notice can be frustrating.

    Regards,

    Alex

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user

  • @Alexandru_BD Right now I'm not able to know, by the Parental Control functionality, the daily internet time. Does it happen to you too?

  • Alexandru_BD
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    Yeah, it's not showing the elapsed time, this is currently being investigated.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user