Bench Banter by Boomerang Parental Control

Justin Payeur

Hosted by Justin Payeur, Dad & Boomerang Parental Control Cofounder, Bench Banter helps families truly navigate the murky waters of family technology use at all ages. Listen to learn straight-forward take-aways that will help your family use tech in a healthy way.

Month in Review 09 - Content matters with Screen Time
Trailer 43 min 14 sec

All Episodes

As we mentioned in our previous episode, we chat about violent games and their impact on kids, adults and families. For background on this subject, tune into a previous Bench Banter episode with Dr Patrick Markey, author of Moral Combat: Why the war on violent video games is wrong.

Apr 16

57 min 17 sec

We've love to hear from you and any subjects you'd like us to cover - let us know  We cover recent privacy focused subjects including:  Apple vs. Facebook - Apple's iOS 14.5 privacy focused update. How websites and apps track you even when you’re away from them. Chrome changing how they handle cookies - how users are tracked online. Facebook’s WhatsApp upcoming privacy policy changes. Decentralized social media platforms.

Mar 5

43 min 14 sec

Jesse Miller from Mediated Reality returns in joining me for our month in review chats. Screen time needs to shift to the content consumed vs time spent. UBC (University of British Columbia) Research that supports keeping our kids active and how it is good for their wellbeing even though many areas around the world are under very restrictive rules around social gathering and team sports. FOSI (Family Online Safety Institute) compiled data on a survey they performed with a group of 1,200 US-based parents on their attitude towards parental controls. Some interesting stats, including how many do worry about pornographic content (hint: get our SPIN Safe Browser). Apps of the month - Discord cleans things up on their platform and what's Clubhouse? 

Feb 5

43 min 14 sec

TeLeni Koochin, Publisher and founder of BAZOOF! joined us to share how she got started with BAZOOF!, a brand that creates children’s content dedicated to encourage reading and learning, deepen understanding of good health in the growing years, help readers think beyond the page in developing the building blocks of a strong character, and spark the endless creativity youth naturally have giving them opportunities to be published. As a bonus, TeLeni is also an active Boomerang Parental Control user so she shares her experience on why she chose us over all of the other options available.  Visit to learn more. 

Jul 2020

33 min 49 sec

A big trending topic from the past 30 days is how social media platforms have started to improve their content policies with the goal of educating their users about misinformation, old posts that may not be relevant today and flagging or remove content related to hate speech. We also discuss what is being a "Karen" and how teens with lots of time on their hands, have been mimicking the behavior.  TikTok and several other apps were exposed by Apple's upcoming iOS14 scrapping the iOS clipboard – this resulted in these apps being able to know what you copied and were about to paste to other apps.  The articles we referenced in the episode:  

Jul 2020

43 min 21 sec

Dr Patrick M. Markey, PhD, is a professor of psychology, the director of the Interpersonal Research Laboratory at Villanova University, and a former president of the Society for Interpersonal Theory and Research. Markey received his doctorate from the University of California. Dr Markey is the author of the science based books Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong and, coming soon, "F*ck Divorce. We discuss how violent games are used as an excuse for school shootings even when Dr Markey’s research for his book doesn’t support this direct influence that impacts a school shooters behaviour. There’s so much more to this conversation than blaming video games: mental health, racial differences, access to guns and overall wellbeing of the individual. We also discuss how recent research continues to compare social media to the addictive nature of heroin. Mention the word addiction when comparing games such as Fortnite or Social Media, the word addiction is not being used in the sense of true addiction. Dr Patrick Market can be found on Twitter @patmarkey Get Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong 

Jun 2020

1 hr 8 min

Lucky #7 month in review with Jesse Miller. Almost halfway through 2020 - why does it feel like such a long year. So much stuff to chat about... Are we one screenshot away from losing our jobs (or NHL career)? Social media as a megaphone! We review May which had so much going on with social media posts, moderations, riots, pandemics, fake news and more. We live in truly crazy times. Is the future of social media paid? How the fitness app, Strava, made more freemium features available only for premium and pledging no ads and not sharing users' data. A brief discussion about violent games and an upcoming episode of Bench Banter with Dr Patrick Markey, co-author of the book Moral Combat.  Do you feel your voice in reflective in your community? This is an example of looking at timestamps on articles to make sure it is not something from the past that was reposted with the goal to incent reactions (both negative and positive). The Verge re-releases the same article from December 2019 in June 2020 to on How to fight lies, tricks, and chaos online. We need more ❤️ in the world. 

Jun 2020

43 min 51 sec

James Achilles is the Vice President of Vancouver-based Kidzworld Media, charged with all aspects of the company’s internal and external growth and management. The content-rich, cloud-based mobile website fosters 2 million+ monthly visitors, who view 18.5 million page views per month from 200+ countries. The online vehicle is designed to offer safe & secure information for 9-16 year-olds, alongside numerous Fortune 500 advertisers. It is also present on the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Learn more about Kidzworld

May 2020

39 min 57 sec

Fired up for another month stuck at home under COVID-19 isolation and cabin fever is setting in. Jesse Miller joins me in our 6th monthly review to discuss how shared content via social media platforms is too easily believed at face value. From photoshopped images to private conversations in group chats. Diversification in our opinions and views is important as a lot of content we view online can be curated based on our likes (think Netflix history, YouTube viewed history, News viewed, etc) thus reenforcing one point of view on various subjects.  We miss our NHL hockey but there was a bit of drama with a recent contract waiving of Washington Capitals' forward Brandon Leipsic following shared inappropriate messages in a private chat. As a verified account on social media, it does bring additional accountability in your online communications. Would having a more influential pro athlete get caught have the same outcome? Our privacy needs to be questioned in our day to day communications from text messages, group messages and social media platforms. Lead with trust when your communicate but consider your environment and potential outcome if something negative is shared.  We also chat about having empathy and not assuming everything we see as we slowly return to some form of normalcy. As physical distancing is relaxed, there will still be a percentage of our population that will feel anxious about returning too fast. Mobile technology is already being used to document other people's behaviors so we refresh you on the areas where having someone's consent is important.  Thanks for tuning in!  -Justin Payeur, Digital Wellbeing app cofounder Follow me on Twitter: 

May 2020

52 min 22 sec

Andy Robertson took his love for writing and gaming to build Family Gamer TV, he’s also a freelance writer for Forbes, The Guardian, BBC and MirrorTech. Andy also presented a TEDx Talks on Sustainable Perspectives on Video Games. We discuss various subjects about games, too much time spent gaming, game ratings (ESRB and PEGI), how they can be an escape for the day stresses and distractions - not all games can do this so Andy has also built a database for games that provides additional insights into the experience and shares a few game recommendations you've probably never heard of but should consider to play as a family.  Andy is launching is book later in 2020, Taming Gaming: Guide Your Child to Video Game Health - aimed at parents that do not play games, to try and help them build confidence, close the literacy gap on the misconceptions about gaming. The book also includes a list of “recipes” for games on how to play and how other families have enjoyed these games, typically games we haven’t heard of. Follow Andy Twitter: YouTube:

May 2020

41 min 59 sec

Alan Katzman is a Social Media Strategist & Educator and the Founder of Social Assurity. Alan shares how post secondary schools use various analytics and KPIs to assess the chances of a student applicant accepting their enrolment. Alan goes into great detail in how schools assess student prospects and how they chose them based on various criteria including their social media accounts. In the current landscape we are in, many kids are graduating with a potential challenge to get the grades wrapped up for acceptance in their post secondary program of choice. Alan shares more on how schools will still want these students and how our public schools are already showing some proactive at home programs to allow kids to continue their education online. Social Media provides great insights into a kids’ character and being. Post secondary schools like Colleges and Universities are looking to these platforms to see what kind of person your child is as part of their application process. Alan trains and teaches students the essentials of social media (equivalent to driver’s education) but more importantly suggests kids tell their story, share their character, their achievements and their commitment to a cause. Content that highlights you as a human being.

Apr 2020

43 min 43 sec

Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO of Family Online Safety Institute - an international, non-profit organization which works to make the online world safer for kids and their families - joins Justin Payeur on our latest episode to discuss Stephen's involvement in the mid-1990s on content concerns viewed via the world wide web, especially when it came to pornography. Then Stephen's shift to Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) which created a unique self-labeling system for computer games (today's standard is ESRB). We also covered FOSI's focus on policy and research, practice and parenting. FOSI’s mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenBalkam Follow FOSI on Twitter @FOSI

Apr 2020

25 min 24 sec

Our month in review covers a few hot topics that families are adjusting to with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) impact. From relaxing screen time limits so kids and adults can keep in touch with their family and friends, lack of kid activities after school and the indefinite postponement of school classes across North America. We ever discussed about violent games, such as old school originals like Doom and comparing to the newer ones. The biggest issue is how realistic the games look like but it never gave me violent tendencies. Plus, how can parents keep their kids busy with school work while at home. How not being able to visit and present to school, Jesse’s inbound feedback from parents has dried up. We also chat about how professional athletes are coping with this lock down such as the NBA having some of their players embrace eSports and how Zak Hyman from the Toronto Maple Leafs is inviting anyone to join him at Fortnite.  Lastly, as adults we are amazed at how kids can be fearless and carefree yet as they grow up, they seem to lose a bit of that. We love how many kids can easily express themselves online, via YouTube videos, selfies and more. Yet, I think society can force this change on our kids. Let's remind ourselves and our kids to "Dance like no one's watching". Dance can be replaced with any action!  Thanks for tuning in!  -Justin Payeur, Digital Wellbeing app cofounder  17:25: Zack Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs Forward mention: Jesse’s current favorite player, smart guy but plays for his least favorite team but recently shared how he shared his time by inviting anybody to join him at Fortnite.   20:40: Violent games - We've played Doom growing up and occasional dab into the new and more realistic violent games like Call of Duty. None made us develop violent tendencies. Looking forward to have Patrick Markey, author of Moral Combat, on the podcast to discuss this in May!

Apr 2020

34 min 38 sec

Carrie describes Digital Respons-Ability as a low tech, tech company and is a state-sponsored provider including working Internet Come Against Children Taskforce, across the state of the Utah. Going back to basics is the focus when it comes reaching out to kids. Carrie takes a non-lecturing approach with the position of understanding the why behind negative online behaviour in kids. Carrie also looks at the culture lens when handling communications online. Adding Spanish services for her area of focus showed how different language and culture matters in how kids and parents express themselves offline/online. Carrie coaches kids of all background including juveniles in detection centres and helping them re-build their online identity in a positive way. Recent publications: About Digital Respons-Ability Digital Respons-Ability is a mission-based company researching and working in the area of digital citizenship. Digital Respons-Ability believes in a prevention science approach to preventing unhealthy online behavior that involves the individual, family and community. We work to educate and empower students, educators and parents. Learn more at

Mar 2020

43 min 33 sec

Jesse Miller shares some thoughts on the flow of information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). With schools closing down in some areas, massive amounts of information being shared on social media platforms, we cover what families can do in regards to the following:  Check and diversify your information sources - Leverage technology, FaceTime friends/family across the world - get opinions from other places  Schools closed, kids at home? Opportunity to reconnect as families, spend more time together Don't let tech take over - Telecom Italia reported a 70% increase in bandwitch use once Italy was locked down, mostly due to games like Fortnite Be a tourist in your community

Mar 2020

34 min 26 sec

Chris joins us to discuss being pro technology and focusing on putting the right tech in front of kids. How online content needs to be discussed and filtered when it comes to kids. Protect Young Eyes’ Team has presented over 300 times in 2019 educating parents, kids and communities on keeping conversations going about technology use. Check out PYE’s Blog

Mar 2020

1 hr

We focus our month in review on TikTok - a social media platform that is gathering awareness and use by its growing user base. There’s a lot of good on TikTok and a lot of fear creation in media headlines lately. We cover how kids use it, the good side of it and tips on what parents should discuss with your kids in regards to TikTok and its content. We also cover awareness campaigns like Internet Safety Day (Feb 11th 2020) - why they are good but also why they should be celebrated more than one day per year. Jesse shares a funny Reddit subreddit about kids publicly “shaming” their own parents.

Feb 2020

50 min 39 sec

Sean Herman, Father, Founder & CEO of a new chat app, Kinzoo and the author of Screen Captured, joined me to discuss the inspiration behind it, a good chat with 2 dads raising kids with technology and why building apps to help families is important. Learn more about Kinzoo

Feb 2020

53 min 27 sec

Tiana is a British Columbia-wide educator and expert on sexual and online/offline exploitation. Tiana believes that educating on an individual and institutional level is the key to keeping our children and youth safe from all forms of sexual exploitation. Resources:

Jan 2020

40 min 21 sec

We take time to reflect on the past 10 years of social media, the platforms, the behavior changes in humans thanks to apps/smartphones and what to look forward to in the next 10 years. As big hockey fans, we ended up chatting about how the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs was probably a key moment of the past decade that exposed how shared social media content could be tracked. It also validated the need for digital media literacy education.

Jan 2020

51 min 34 sec

Chris Dancy joins Justin Payeur, Boomerang Parental Control cofounder to chat how technology enabled him to become healthier. Chris is know as the "Most Connected Human" - Google it! We covered a bunch of other topics including how tech is now an extension of us, we must embrace it but let's keep the big companies accountable for using our data for their gain. 

Dec 2019

30 min 26 sec

Jesse Miller from Mediated Reality joins Justin Payeur, cofounder of Boomerang Parental Control on a monthly review chat about recent trends around social media, tech use, user/data privacy of cloud platforms and how parents need to do better in leading by example. As we wrap up another decade, we also chat on how the conversation has changed in the past 10 years for technology, social media use and more.

Dec 2019

26 min 51 sec

School rules you may not be aware regarding smartphone/social media use with Jesse Miller from Mediated Reality

Jun 2019

1 min 32 sec

Sharenting, Digital Citizenship and Digital Consent on Social Media - social media educator, Jesse Miller from Mediated Reality, brings common sense and surprises to our parental learning curve. It’s a must listen.

May 2019

6 min 18 sec