Don’t be paranoid: Tracking technology helps more than harms

March 14, 2019 — by Andrew Lee

Before the rise of cell phones and mobile devices, the ability to know a teen’s location at any time was almost impossible. Parents, no matter how protective they were, had no reliable way to keep track of their children.

Nowadays, however, tracking a teen’s location has never been easier; multiple free phone applications, such as Life360, allow both parents and children to know each other’s location at any given time.

At first glance, the idea of my parents being able to track me seemed scary. With one of these tracking applications, my parents would have the power to know my location at all times, and there would be absolutely no way I could hide it. Of course, I could always disable my location services on my phone, but that temporary fix to my problem would only buy me so much time before my parents would inevitably find out and make me turn it on again.

After having used a tracking application that my entire family has, I believe that the benefits of tracking applications far outweigh the few negatives.

Obviously, a parent’s ability to locate their child and know what they’re doing can come in handy, especially in emergencies.

In addition, because teens know that they are trackable, they are forced to thoroughly think before they act and minimize any type of dangerous risk that they may be tempted to make. Attending late-night alcohol-infused parties or other poor life choices becomes tougher to do.

Of course, most teens would object to using such applications, as they would feel an extreme lack of privacy. But, if a teen feels that they need more privacy about what they are doing and where they are going away from their parents, chances are their actions, possibly motivated by a rebellious spirit, could get them in significant trouble.

In this situation, it seems as if all the odds are against the student’s freedom. With these trackers, teens may believe that they now lack massive amounts of freedom. However, from personal experience, I’ve learned that trackers also benefit teens just as much as they benefit parents.

Since these applications allow everyone to know each other’s locations, teens are able to track their parents too. This becomes incredibly useful, as both teens and their parents are able to locate each other with ease in almost any setting. Getting separated from your parents has never felt more safe, and knowing exactly when and where a parent will be is a satisfying power to have.

Also, to those teens who still want to commit to edgy activities even with one of these tracking apps, you can now be 100 percent sure that your parents will NEVER be able to catch you red handed. If teens are involved in an activity that they definitely do not want their parents to find out about, well lucky them, it works both ways: Since now they can keep an eye on their parents’ location, they can make sure they don’t meet in person.

So rather than complaining about being tracked and spending unnecessary time attempting to disable their location, it’s better to see tracking apps in a more positive light: They can be used to teens’ benefit, and at the very least are a safeguard in a bad situation.

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