eebudee was made possible by the parents, kids, child development experts and other amazing individuals who share our passion for safe social media. Many people continue to share their experiences and insights with us, and together, have helped shape the eebudee app and website we see today.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
To celebrate our launch, we spoke with Founder Mike Fairclough, about his experience of the eebudee journey so far.
eebudee: What sparked the idea for eebudee?
Mike Fairclough: The realisation that, as a single dad, my 2 sons were very tech-savvy; especially with games. They had also stumbled onto pornography on Google, which was a shock and really worried me. Their desire to continuously play games appeared addictive, and I was observing symptoms such as lethargy, fighting, nightmares and violent behaviour in 2 little boys.
I thought, ‘what is this?’ So I researched as much as I could, trying to be the best dad I could be. I found a lot of great information, but not a lot that was easy to implement or action, especially for a time-poor single dad. I spoke with many other parents and we all had the same problem. I guess it evolved and got a life of its own from there.
eeebudee: What’s it like being dad to 2 young boys in the digital age?
Mike: I guess for all of us parents it’s pretty scary. We want our kids to grow up to be well-balanced kids and to have a great childhood. My boys are 9 and almost 7. Sometimes I fear that technology and the Internet is cutting short their childhood and innocence.
However, the Internet and social media is a part of their lives, and we need to embrace that really positive journey with them, but we also need to guide them in the early years. I think it [the social media revolution] has all happened relatively fast.
My boys laugh at me and find it hard to believe when I tell them there was no such thing as a mobile phone when I was a boy.
eebudee: How have people responded to eebudee?
Mike: You know; I talked to hundreds of people about the eebudee concept and vision well before laying anything down, so I had a great sack of feedback and ideas to draw upon and I was confident it would really resonate with parents. I have been and continue to be overwhelmed by the response I get, and we are very much a work in progress.
eebudee: Any interesting feedback you can share with us?
Mike: What has been quite amazing is the interest from grandparents who currently feel very isolated from their own grandchildren, given many of their own children live and work overseas and are disconnected from their grandchildren on a day to day basis.
The idea of the family Fridge and safe social media resonated with them too. The idea of ‘training wheels for kids’ around social media, much like learning to ride a bike, was really well received also.
eebudee: What do you hope parents and kids will get out of the app?
Mike: I think all families are different and will use it differently, so it’s hard to be prescriptive about that. eebudee so far, and it’s in its infancy really, is the brainchild of many people, which means it’s always going to be evolving. For some, it may be a tool they use daily or less frequently, or perhaps they will use from functions more than others. It’s definitely not a ‘check in every 2-minutes’ style of social media. That’s the last thing we want!
My great hope is that parents and families will tell us what they want to get from eebudee. At this stage, if they are happy to share family moments in a safe environment and start social media education by simply letting their kids post stuff and interact with family members that would be great start.
eebudee: Any new features we can look forward to?
Mike: We have some amazing parent-generated features coming in the New Year that I am very excited about. For example, there’s the ‘eebudee Chat’ where, under parent supervision, kids can have their first educational social media experience with their little eebudee mates.
eebudee: What else is in store?
Mike: We have a whole treasure trove of features for the app and the website, together with some exciting announcements about eebudee Heroes and events in the New Year. Plus there will be competitions with great prizes, so stay tuned!
eebudee: You have some high profile names supporting eebudee. Why do you think it has resonated so well with people?
Mike: eebudee will be a great success if, together, we can make a real difference to families, individuals and communities. I think this is why people care about it. Something like eebudee is much, much bigger than 1 person or 1 company. To me it really is a movement
If you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences about raising children in the social media age, we’d love to hear from you. You can also sign up or connect with the eebudee community by contacting email@example.com.