Readers! I have a piece running on ParentDish titled, “GPSing Your Kid is Crazy.” It argues that, far from really giving parents “peace of mind, “GPSing does the opposite. It reinforces the idea that our kids are in danger every second they are not in our line of sight. It makes us distrust our community, which means we hold our kids even tighter.
The constant connectivity of GPS also makes us panic whenever we CAN’T reach our kids — an experience I’ve approximated when I couldn’t get my sons on their cell phones. It’s the same panic you feel when you turn around and suddenly don’t see your toddler at the grocery. And, just like that panic, it’s usually unnecessary: the vast majority of times, your kid shows up soon after. But the fear is overwhelming, and now — THANKS to electronic connections — it happens all the time, even with older and older kids, the second we don’t know PRECISELY where they are.
My piece added that GPSing doesn’t even prevent “the worst” — abduction, ‘natch, — from occurring. It just goes along for the ride.
And while I appreciate my sons have cell phones, I think “tracking” them is going too far. Anyway, here is what one guy wrote in response:
Thoughts from someone who sells GPS tracking devices…
“Peace of mind comes when we pretty much believe in our kids and our community.”
What community these days can be trusted?
These “evil” people can drive to anywhere and everywhere our kids go.
I do however agree with the cell phone trackers “going along for the ride” idea.
Whenever I sell a parent a system I explain the importance of the “panic” system that goes along with it.
What this does is proactively protect our children in case of an emergency. With a simple flick of a switch mounted by the cars blinker the car sends a panic message to the parent/guardians cell phone. At that point I usually tell my customers to call the child and set up a code… “everything OK”, “yes going to Cassie’s house for a few hours” Means I’m in trouble send help.
Its not a matter of false security, its a matter of safety…
Why shouldn’t we know where our kids are? Just like my commercial clients tell there drivers, If your not doing anything wrong theres nothing to worry about! — GPS-Mike
And there you have it (typos and all): The way at least some of the world is thinking about what makes for “sensible” parenting. — Lenore