Has anyone else seen this commercial? There is a mother in a mall with her tween age daughter. They are saying goodbye and the daughter is walking off down the escalator to another part of the mall. The voice over says something like, which 3G coverage will you trust to run remote locator on your child the first time she is alone in the mall. And then then a red map pops up, with apparently some sort of coverage implied. (Now that I think about it I am almost sure it is an AT&T commercial, but the red map makes me think of Verizon, anyway).
Is anyone else as creeped out about this concept as I am. My kids are still young so I haven’t really gotten into the whole cyber tracking my offspring thing yet, but I don’t know it seems very “big brother” to me. I know you can make the argument that you are just trying to keep your kids safe. I know you can make the argument that there are lots of crazy people out in this world, but still if you have trained your kids well and you trust them enough to go off with their friends for a while shouldn’t you trust them enough not to electronically tether them to you.
Of course if you are a regular reader of this blog you know that this part of a larger issue for me. The whole cell phone always available culture is something that still strikes me as more negative than positive. I miss the days when I could simply be “out” and not be able to be reached. I miss the days when students would come to church or youth events and need to engage with the people around them instead of a whole slew of 140 character conversations.
I wonder what will happen when this generation grows older. They are a generation who has never learned to be alone. They are in constant contact with their peers and their parents. They never have to learn to stand on their own because they are never on their own. With that said I think these connections lead to very isolated students. Because they are never away from the 3 or 4 people in their life that they are close to they are never forced to find new people and make new friends. If you are older than 30 do you remember how hard it was to keep in touch with your classmates after you went off to school. This generation doesn’t have that. In 15 years we will see the first generation since the 40s to have a class reunion where people haven’t lost touch and moved on.
But back to the parent thing. As a parent I want to protect my child in every way possible. At the same time, I want them to grow up with a little independence. I think my plan is to not get them a phone until they are 16. I mean if all of their friends have them already I can just find my child by calling one of their friends.