CON: An inhibition of privacy and maturity

Living in an age of status updates and trending tweets, it is almost impossible to keep anything in our lives truly private.

As technology advances and this world becomes a more “dangerous” place, parents all around the world are turning to cellular tracking in order to ensure their child’s safety. This dramatic violation of privacy is now a norm for helicopter parents who feel the need to be in control of every detail in their child’s lives.

Technology has allowed advances in virtually every field imaginable, but there needs to be a point where we draw the line. No person should be able to track another individual’s location, period. This especially holds true with parent-child relationships.

As society discovers new ways to incorporate technology into our day to day lives, some parents are choosing to have it control the way they raise their kids. Parents are looking for a feeling of relief when they check their tracking app and find that their child is exactly where they said they would be, but does this not also come with a pang of guilt?

The trust between parent and teen is something that once broken, is difficult to repair. A healthy parent-child dynamic sets the tone for the teen’s relationships in the future. If a child sees that their own parents don’t trust them, how will they ever learn to trust others?

In reality, there is no way to completely shield children from the dangers of the outside world. Tracking may ease the mind for a second, but the long term effects can be damaging to the relationship as a whole. Even Ameeta Jain, co-founder of popular tracking app Teensafe, admits that, “It really gives the message: ‘I don’t trust you at all.’”

The idea that parents are constantly watching your every move can be haunting, and according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, can lead to anxiety and a lack of confidence. The teen may never have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.

There are many generations of people that have safely survived their youth without their parents tracking their every move. Will  the idea of learning from your mistakes without the overbearing guidance of your parents soon become a part of the past?

It remains true that if a teen is rebellious and looking for trouble, they will find a way to deceive their parents and bypass tracking apps. And while some students feel safer being tracked by their parents, eventually they will have to break free from this protective bubble in order to succeed in the real world.

Choosing not to track a teenager’s every move allows a healthy relationship to flourish where kids can openly communicate with their parents about where they are and what they are doing. The control over their own lives and privacy given to these teenagers will ensure a smooth transition into the early years of adulthood.