Your Parents are Watching: Digital Peace or Prison?

Life360 app allows parents to closely monitor their children. Spying parents create sneaky children with a new location monitoring app

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CREDIT: Kayla Lee

By Monica Mazariegos, Staff Writer

An app made for parents to track and check on their kids has hit the App Store: Life360. It’s being marketed as a “safe app,” created for concerned parents. “Feel free, together,” is the app’s slogan. 

Life360 allows parents to track their child’s every move, including seeing the speed of the vehicle they’re in, its location and when a target leaves a location.  

The intentions of the app may be innocent but it has allowed many parents to make their children miserable. 

Mistrust between parents and kids can only grow with the use of the Life360 app. Obsessive parents now have the ability to constantly check their child’s location. Strict parents create sneaky children. The growing wariness between a child and their parents will only cause the child to rebel even more. As young adults, teenagers should have the freedom to go out on their own and not be spied on. 

Also, apps can experience bugs or glitches, which could lead to more misunderstandings between parents and their children. More often than not, children are shut down when trying to explain their side of the story.

Apps like Life360 enable obsessive behaviors. Instead of creating trust in parent and child relationships, they often destroy it. It is much healthier to teach a teen to communicate with their parents rather than to control every aspect of their lives.

Tracking your child’s every move is not progressive but rather strains a healthy relationship. By constantly keeping tabs on your child it can result in more reckless behavior, such as not carrying your phone around to avoid being tracked. 

It is understandable for parents to want to know what is going on in their kid life, however there are more healthier approaches, like building a relationship with trust therefore they are comfortable confiding in you,

But this behavior doesn’t necessarily end when these teens go off to college. Some parents continue to use these apps to track their kids in college. Threatening kids with these kinds of punishments make them resent their parents and instead of complying with certain rules and limitations they rebel.

A parent’s job is to raise their children to be independent and successful members of society. Trying to protect them at all costs and interfering with their ability to learn from their mistakes does not achieve this. It only allows smarter people to easily manipulate them.

This has become such an issue that it’s now a TikTok meme. Teens are posting their videos using the hashtag #Life360 sharing the strict punishments they face, like having their cell phones confiscated, being grounded for months and being monitored by security cameras in their own home. Threatening kids with these kinds of punishments make them resent their parents and instead of complying with certain rules and limitations they rebel.

These videos may seem funny to some but to others they are reality — a reality that can result in negative impacts on their mental health.

A study conducted by ABC News showed thatteens who felt more alienated and, therefore, lost trust in their were more likely to have high levels of anxiety by 12th grade. This held true for depression as well.” 

By using apps such as Life360, parents teach their kids that they can’t be trusted, and shouldn’t be surprised when their relationship with their kid is tainted.