To GPS Track or Not To Track: That is the Question – By Vicky Dal Molin
So I was looking at my usual blog posts today and one came up that has sparked many a debate. It was advertising this wizz bang new watch or children that allows you to GPS track them from your smart phone etc. It’s a cellular-connected GPS tracking device basically. You can view entire family’s whereabouts (watch and smartphone) and communicate in one app. This isn’t the first time though I’ve read about this kind of tracking and I’ve been in many debates before. People seem to be so very particular one way or the other.
I’m going to say it – I’m an advocate. The thought of my son being lost or worse, taken by someone that I hadn’t authorized just terrifies me as I’m sure it terrifies many parents. The main voice of dissent is that we should be better parents and look after our children. This however I think is a judgmental and unrealistic view of the world. Anyone that has a child knows it takes a second for something to happen. That’s not a fair attack to make on parents who’s children might run off. I remember my brother sneaking off one day in the mall and the panic and terror that ran through me as we realized he was not playing under the clothes racks anymore. We were fortunate that a person found him and kept him calm and in the one spot and we found him – but I never want to feel like that again. It took a second and if you knew my mum you would appreciate she had her eye on us all the time – it happens. Even to the most attentive.
Now I’m not talking about putting a microchip in your child – that’s a new level. What I’m talking about it leveraging a product like the HereO children’s watch (http://www.hereofamily.com). It’s cute and kid size but allows you just an extra layer of protection. And I don’t for a second think it should replace parenting at all. It’s critical we teach our children about safety and help them be safely independent (well as safe as we can make it in a world where we only control so much). But what exactly is wrong with a back up. Just in Case. Isn’t it really better parenting that we do whatever we can to ensure our children are protected?
Or is this just a marketers dream. That a good parent is a [aren’t who’s watching their child 24/7. I know when I was pregnant I was caught up in all that. I still have 2 video monitors watching over my son at night, I had 4 monitors when he was under 12. Marketers play on the fear that something horrific may happen to your kid. But then even realizing that – it might happen.
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way but I certainly can see a real use for leveraging this type of technology. For being able to protect my child even if I’m not physically there. It will never take the place of being a parent – but it can help make us more aware. I think parents need to establish good open communication when it comes to their children and teach them right and wrong and the importance of trust and using judgment. But why not use what’s available to supplement that? Seems like the best we can do.