is the ultimate Free-Range holiday — the one day of the year kids are encouraged to go out in the world, on their own, and make things happen. They:
*Dress up like adults (or at least not like the kids they are)
*Take to the streets
*Interact with strangers. Repeatedly!
*Work and get paid (okay, it’s not “real” work, but they run around ringing doorbells and get paid in candy.)
In other words, this is a totally subversive day, proving to kids that however much they are supervised the rest of the year, they obviously don’t need it. They can go out with their friends, roam the neighborhood and have a great time.
So, naturally, this rebellion must be squashed. Enter “Glympse,” and “AirLive,” two child tracking devices that are pitching parents on the necessity of electronically monitoring their kids’ spoooooooky journey to…the neighbor’s homes.
AireLive’s press release promises that its livestreaming capacity will allow “kids to communicate with their parents in real time should any questions arise. Parents can view the livestream and assess the situation should a teen ever be in need of assistance.”
Nooooooo! The whole idea is that if “questions” arise, kids should solve them on their own. In my lectures, when I ask audience members to think of a time they felt on top of the WORLD as a kid, many of them remember a “problem” — like getting lost — and solving it themselves. That’s the foundation of confidence! Why replace it with a livestream to mom?
Meantime, the app called Glympse is promising the same confidence-deflating software. This story on Yahoo Finance quotes Monica Depiesse, creative director of Glympse, saying: “By applying our industry leading technology to this fun, user-friendly app, we’re providing parents the peace of mind to enjoy the holiday, while allowing them the opportunity to give their kids a sense of independence.”
Please note: A “sense” of independence is NOT independence, any more than a criminal who has to wear an ankle bracelet is truly free.
No matter how cutely this is written, the ability to “View that goblin’s every movement” is the antithesis of this holiday. “The real-time app lets users see where their children are, how fast they’re moving and if they are starting to wander too far. Parents can track from any mobile device or desktop, so no additional devices are needed.”
My God. Parents, ask yourselves: Is this how YOU spent Halloween? Did you want your parents to track your “every movement”? Did you feel endangered when you went out by yourselves? Or empowered?
We give kids ONE day of grown-up freedom. Now we are taking even that away. It’s like taking candy from a baby.
Which we also do. But that’s another rant. — L.