When we were young, the movies portrayed our teenage years as rebellious, fun, and carefree. As times have changed, parents have become more cautious, going so far as to install tracking apps in their child’s phone, stalking their every movement.
While safety is a legitimate concern, tracking apps like Life360 cause riffs in parent-child relationships when taken too far.
With the ability to track location, speed, battery percentage, phone usage, rapid acceleration, hard braking, and, in the premium version, crash detection, parents feel at ease about the safety of their children, while leaving adolescents to question their right to privacy and autonomy from their parents.
According to Life360, 70% of adolescents are okay with location sharing apps, but this does not include the extra features Life360 has built in.
These “safety” features can feel restricting and overbearing, causing adolescents to feel mistrusted and trapped. Thus leaving them to participate in “unsafe” practices.
According to German-American psychologist Erik Erikson, trust is the first stage of our psychosocial development. When parents make adolescents feel mistrusted or seem suspicious of them, adolescents tend to rebel, leading to them developing negative behavioral traits.
These traits can cause adolescents to ignore their parents. Their parents are left clueless on who their friends are, where they went, and what they do in their free time.
Adolescents won’t be inclined to listen and receive advice from their parents, because trust is a two way street. If children don’t feel trusted by their parents, parents won’t be trusted by their children, thus prompting them to rebel.
Life360 can also cause adolescents to feel trapped. This feeling can cause them to leave their phones where they are supposed to be, and travel somewhere else.
In making these practices a habit, they will be ill prepared for situations in which they require emergency services.
While one person in a group generally keeps their phone on them, in emergency situations, only having one phone can be detrimental to the well being of a child and their group of friends.
Overall, though Life360 can ease the anxiousness of parents, it can inspire negative and “unsafe” behavior of adolescents, causing more harm than help.