No matter the time era, there have been parents who feel the need to know where their children are at all times. Before technology, however, parents had no way of knowing. They instead had to trust their children and allow them to go on their own, but technology has introduced us to a new era. Parents now have new ways of checking on their kids, and one of these ways is using the app Life360. The app Life360, is a location tracking app for smartphones that can track a person’s location and their driving speed. The app is used by parents to check where their child is, and to see if they are safe, but the usage of the app has negative effects on the teens and young adults using it. These negative effects may be a lack of confidence or a damaged parent/child relationship. Parents who frequently survey the app are seen by their children as “helicopter”* parents. This can create an uncomfortable relationship between the parent and the teen because the teen could feel suffocated by the amount of attention. Some teens may feel a lack of confidence due to the lack of trust, responsibility, and communication from their parents. This in turn may lead to the teen becoming insufficient in becoming a young adult because they may tend to lean heavily on the parents for support or lose the space to grow as an individual.
On the contrary, Life 360 has its benefits in helping families. In case of an emergency, Life360 has the ability for roadside assistance. In addition to roadside assistance, it can provide evidence of safe driving to show insurance companies. However, a question still remains. When is someone too old for Life360? Teens are not the only ones captivated by the hold of Life360 because college kids are as well. Although college-aged young adults could be across state lines and living somewhere other than their parents’ house, parents still coerce their child into using the app. This may cause their child to feel as though they are not truly an adult and may resent the parent for their constant need to keep tabs on them. Overall, as much as parents mean well and Life360 can be a way of protecting their children, it may hurt them more than it would ever help them.
*helicopter parent- a parent that is overly focused on their child or hovering.
Emara Sáez. “Why Tracking Apps Are More Harmful than Helpful (OPINION).” Achona, 26 Oct. 2018, achonaonline.com/top-stories/2020/01/why-tracking-apps-are-more-harmful-than-helpful-opinion/#:~:text=Apps%20such%20as%20Life%20360,like%20an%20invasion%20of%20privacy.. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.
Bayless, Kate. “What Is Helicopter Parenting?” Parents, Parents, 17 Oct. 2013, www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/what-is-helicopter-parenting/. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.