Technology: tracking or trusting?

September 15, 2006 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

Would you, if you could, track how fast and how far your kids go in the family car? I drove pretty fast when I was a teenager and, for the most part, my folks never knew; if they had, I might not be here today. What about their internet usage? Would you read their e-mail or listen in on their instant message conversations? Would you want to know what websites they visit?

If the answer is yes to any of these, then you’re in luck — you’re living in the right era. There is a lot of technology available today that will let you keep track of your kids like never before. SFGate has a nice write-up of some of your options, including devices for your car — including some that would have worked with my mother’s vintage Citroens — and your computer.

While the article cites some instances where this sort of technology has helped, such as the case of a 14-year-old who met a 24-year-old man online and was given a bus ticket to meet him out of state, it covers all sides of the issue. According to Jane Bluestein, parent educator and author, “To track kids for the sake of tracking kids — I know it gives parents a sense of control, but I think it points to bigger problems in the relationship: mistrust, a need to control, a need to think for your kids.” She also points out that it’s important “for parents to teach kids how to think and act when they’re not there.”

I’d like to think that I’ll be able to trust my kids and that, by the time they’re ready to go off on their own, I will have taught them to make good choices, but that could just be my arrogant innocence waiting to be smacked down by reality. What do you think? Do you or will you use technology to stay on top of what your kids are up to? Which is more important, trusting them or tracking them?


Entry filed under: Privacy, Security.

Schools, libraries must block MySpace, Facebook Preemptively fingerprinting your kids

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