Big Mother Is Watching

Is it possible to be raised under parental constant surveillance?

GizmoWatch from Verizon is used to keep track of young children. This happens long before the child has a smartphone. If the child wanders outside the boundaries of the “geofence”, the parents are notified. They can then call the number and tell the kid, “I see what you’re doing!”

Life360 is an app for older kids that uses smartphones. It “allows you to ensure they are safe at all costs,” as a YouTube user explained.

It may seem uncontroversial and even calm, so pause to consider your own childhood. Is it possible that your parents would have known where you were all the time? What would your childhood have been like if you had this information?

A year ago The New York Times ran an article on kid trackers and asked kids themselves to respond. There were more than 1000 responses. Many people said that they felt safe and secure knowing their parents. Many others said that tracking them was not a problem because they knew their parents weren’t checking on them as much. There were many who stated things such as “Rather than being tracked, they didn’t mind it,” because their parents weren’t checking on them much.[My parents]Although it is for my safety, I feel that I don’t have any freedom. I am constantly being monitored.”

The only thing that really makes an iPhone different from an ankle bracelet is its size [monitor]”It is that one you have in your pocket.” says David Rettew (orthodox psychiatrist), author of Parents, it’s not easy (Oxford University Press). The tracker is a way for parents to send a message to their children that they need adult electronic eyes. Children may think the world is dangerous and they can’t trust anyone without it.

This is a dangerous message. There are very few chances of your child being abducted.

Even worse, these apps could undermine your child’s independence. Carli Sussman is a Vancouver mother who says that she used to say, “I was going on a bicycle ride, but I went to the grocery store instead.” Because “eventually, you end up being an adult and having to be able make decisions,” she allows her 10-year old son to ride his bike as it is. It is not easy to learn how to make the right decisions by making mistakes.

Passivity is all that you can learn when someone else takes the wheel. However, many parents do not see this as such. One mother wrote that her teens use it as a way to reduce nagging and hovering. I can see their location and confirm that they are on the way to an activity. I do not need to text or call to remind them.

She monitors her children’s actions from far away to make sure they do what she expects. If they’re not, she is able to and will immediately intervene. This is the exact opposite of trusting their actions or to accept the consequences for any mistakes they make.

The Facebook mom added that “it’s rare we’ve used location surveillance to catch them somewhere they shouldn’t be—though they’re likely deterred from ‘sneaking out’ knowing we can see their location.” Not that they can see their location. Reach Her children. Instead, she will place them in something similar to the panopticon. This is a circular prison that has an invisible guard at its center. Prisoners cannot see where they are. Not being watched.

One teenage boy responded to our survey Times article managed to wrest free. His mom placed a tracking device in his car and he felt betrayed. As a teenager, he said that “I must experience my freedoms” and “learn how to stay safe.” He convinced his mother of this. He removed the tracker, and now he writes, “I believe our relationship is stronger because I trust her to make wise decisions and be open with her.” “I have more freedom, and I am also responsible.”

We don’t want to make our children feel deprived of freedom or responsibility.