When you mention “accountability software” to someone, one of the first questions you are likely to hear in return is, “What is that and what does it do?” Perhaps you also have the same question. In an age where accountability is often seen as an inconvenience or a punishment, it is important to consider the true role of accountability software and how it can be used as a tool to foster responsibility and integrity in today’s digital world.
Many of us are accustomed to accountability in several aspects of our daily life. In our careers, we are accountable for the quality and integrity of our work, the way that money is spent, and the way that we make use of our time. In our personal relationships, we are accountable for the things that we say, the places we go, and the things that we do. For most people, these things are done in view of someone else who can hold us accountable to do the right thing and to walk in integrity and purity. But what about on our digital devices?
Today’s digital age has opened an amazing world of possibilities, while simultaneously opening an endless world of temptation. Our digital devices offer us privacy and anonymity from the eyes of others, and suddenly a very prevalent part of our lives is absent of accountability.
This is where accountability software enters the picture. The purpose of accountability software is to provide a means of accountability across digital devices, without taking away any of the functionality and convenience of the digital age. It is a tool to promote openness and transparency in what could otherwise be a very secretive environment.
A good accountability software monitors activity such as web browsing and app usage, and reports this activity to an accountability partner whom the user would specify. Questionable activity, if detected by the software, would also be brought to the attention of the accountability partner(s) so that they could initiate a discussion with the user regarding the nature of the activity. In this way accountability software is a tool, designed to promote openness between individuals to challenge and encourage each other to walk in purity.
Accountability software differs from filtering software in that it does not prevent a user from accessing content or engaging in any sort of activity. The intent of accountability is not to forcefully stop someone from inappropriate activity, but to give them a reason to intentionally choose the path of integrity.
So, what if the software detects inappropriate activity? Accountability software is not designed to fix an issue, but simply to bring it out into the open so that it can be gracefully and effectively addressed. The software is, therefore, a simple tool, but when used within the context of strong relationships between users and accountability partners it can be a simple tool that results in great freedom!
Do you use accountability software? How does it work for you? Please let us know in the comments below!