Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


The Controversey of Parental Trackers

Parental TrackersShould parents track their college aged students on their phone?

Modern technology allows us to do just about anything we can think of, from sharing photos to reading news from across the globe. It’s difficult keeping our lives private when there are constant updates on our location, which makes you wonder who exactly can keep tabs on what you’re doing. 

Whether I share my location or not, the one person I know that’s always watching is my mother. But is this okay?

I have heard mixed reviews on whether or not my friends’ parents track their location from their phones, but my particular situation seems to be the extreme. My mom made my 29-year old sister and I download an app called Life360 so that she has constant access to our location. 

Apparently the location tracker that the iPhone comes with doesn’t fit my mother’s standards (sorry Apple). The Life360 app is so scarily accurate that you can watch your marker move on the map as you walk from room to room in whatever building you’re in.

 If she really wanted to, my mom could watch how long it takes me to get through the Jersey Mike’s line during lunch. It takes stalking to a new level, but is it still considered stalking if your parents are the ones watching your every move?

To a certain extent, maybe.  I’ve constantly spoken to my mom about etiquette while using the app. While I understand its purpose when I take the train up north to go visit my sister, I don’t understand the purpose of checking it on a random Thursday afternoon when my parents know that I’m in Plangere for the better part of the day in class. Tracking can be beneficial if you are going on a long car ride or you are headed to an unknown part of town. That makes sense. 

Want to know what my plans are for the weekend?  Just ask me.  I don’t want to get a creepy text asking who I’m at the mall with while I’m trying to enjoy my Saturday off (true story, you can’t make this stuff up).

Though it saves me from having to send a text telling my parents where I am, it isn’t always comforting to share my location. 

I also think being 21 years old should establish some kind of trust between my parents and I. I mean, they did raise me. I’m old enough to drink so it’s not as if I’m lying about that (nor have I ever).

Sometimes, parents see other kids my age and all of the trouble they get into. Although I may be doing what I’m supposed to be doing, some parents feel justified in using a tracker.

I always go to class so I’m not going to just casually play hooky, especially for the amount of money I pay to attend such classes. 

I’m a true believer in honesty being the best policy and unless I give you good reason not to trust me, which I never have, I would hope that means I am treated like an adult instead of a rebellious pre-teen.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that when we grow older, the leash our parents have attached to us should become longer. That includes the digital ones as well. 

The use of electronics has become such an advanced concept, but what should not be advanced is the way you keep your child under your watchful eye. I know it’s hard to accept, but it’s time to let your hawks fly from the nest without protection, parents. We’ll learn some hard lessons without you but we’ll always know our way back home.

PHOTO TAKEN by Caroline Mattise

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151