You probably don’t know me. Most people don’t. My identity often stays anonymous as the designer of interface and user experience for the various projects I have worked on. Right now, I am fortunate enough to be Head of Design for Thrive Global, a role I take very seriously. I have spent most of the past year helping to create The Thrive App. For months, my team and I helped build the features that have the potential to improve the lives of so many people. I am lucky enough to be one of the people that made it. 

I was excited to work for Thrive because my own product, KidCash, has a lot of similarities. Parents can use Device Dollars as a visual aid in  which they can pair with education and messaging to help children for productive balanced digital habits. I felt this is so important for people that I had even made the entire product free for parents to print. How excited was I to start working on the Thrive App, a free tool that will help parents tame tech in even more ways. Let me tell you why this app will make parenting easier for you.

Parents will be able to budget Minecraft!

One of the features of the app is being able to set up a limit for daily app use. This means that you can set Minecraft to an hour, and afterwards, your child will not be able to access this app until the next day. Yes, I know. Try to contain your excitement.

Parents will be able to limit access at night and during study time!

The temptation to stay up on social media is too great for a lot of kids. One of the best features of the Thrive App is the “Super Thrive Mode”. Once you set it, you can’t get into your phone unless you reboot it. It stops notifications, calls and texts from coming through, unless they are on your VIP list. Very important people….like you, for example.

What if your child reboots the phone, goes online all night and then sets a Thrive Mode for the morning to try and trick you?

Oh, don’t worry. I’m a parent and I thought about that. We added a history log into the app which tells it all. Take that, you sneaky kids. 

And the number one best feature of the app is… uninterrupted face time with your children.

As parents, we sometimes know what we should do, but have a hard time acting on it. There have been times that I have physically placed myself on the floor with the phone out of reach, just so I am not tempted to check it. I don’t even realize I’m doing it half of the time. The Thrive App makes it so easy by taking that option away. If I’m being really honest with myself, I do need that.

What I learned when I tested it with my children.

Last weekend, I took my work phone home to test what it would change on a typical Saturday morning. I set a Super Thrive session for a half hour. I shut off my other phone. Then, as the calming blue moon hovered slowly and silently, quarantining my phone off into this serene slumber, I was actually able to focus on my daughter knowing that we had an intentional half hour of uninterrupted time. It was even better than I had expected. I felt really connected and in the moment. It’s hard to explain but you’ll have to try it yourself and then you’ll know what i’m talking about.

When the session was over, I had missed a lot of notifications and texts. None of them were important. I’m old enough to remember what it was like before phones, when people had to wait a whole day to tell you something. Even so, you’d be surprised at how much we are programmed to depend on them now. Your brain will induce fear of missing out if you let it, however, what we really miss out on is being present.

The tagline of the Thrive App is “Take back control of your time.” 

When you think about it, you only have a few years to be at the center of their universe. Then, it’s over. There’s no time more precious than this time. I need to be mindful. I need to take control of it.

Even though I spent a lot of time designing a parenting system to help keep their children from endlessly being glued to screens, I neglected to realize that I, too, have a problem. It’s time to be better about that. The Thrive App will definitely give me the tools to do that. It will be available to Samsung Users in January of 2018. You can learn more about it here. It will be coming to more platforms shortly after that. I can’t wait myself, I definitely NEED this app!