Imagine you’re 15 years old and you wake up on a Saturday. You immediately think to yourself “ I want to hang out with my friends today.” So that’s what you do. At three o’clock, you go to your friends house. You get there, and immediately start having a great time. But something feels disoriented. You feel like someone is constantly watching you over your shoulder. But no one is there. That’s because your parents are tracking your location through your phone.
Parents using tracking apps to track the location of their child can have many effects on a family and how that family runs. Some of those are good, but most of those benefits are bad.
One bad benefit that can come from parents using tracking apps is that it can cause feuds between the parents and child and begin to destroy the relationship in the family. Lisa Damour said this in a New York Times article “Research shows that adolescents who believe their parents have invaded their privacy go on to have higher levels of conflict at home.” This shows that kids who know their location is being tracked, they go on to think that their trust has been lost. Then, The kid won’t trust that parent, and then there is no trust at all.
Parents tracking their child’s location can also cause other problems, the main one being that it’s not always just the parents who have the information that app provides. Joel Michael Reynolds, a writer for Theconversation.com, said this in one of his articles on this topic “Researchers at MIT and the Catholic University of Louvain found that just four time-stamped locations could uniquely identify 95% of individuals, making promises of anonymity hollow.” This shows how quick people can use this information that you think is helpful and turn it against. All you need is one person to hack the system and they know who that person is and where they are.
Some people may think that even though the app has some bad benefits, you should still use the app. But that is being ignorant. You can’t just ignore the bad things because they are still there.
So, parents need to find a way to not use the app at all or use it in a way where it won’t hurt your family’s relationship. In combination with using the app, you can make sure that you have a firm trust built up with your child and tell them that you are doing it so they don’t get mad at you when they find out about it. Anything you do to help your family and not hurt you is a step in the right direction.