The worst app on the market

Marissa Rushton, Opinion Assistant Editor

Have you ever felt watched, like someone is following you but no one is around? The phone tracking app, Life360, may be the culprit for so people. This app, primarily used by parents with their teenagers, tracks everywhere you go and can record where you’ve stopped along the way at exactly what time. It is also used to track driving speeds, hard braking and more. While some may say this is a great thing to incorporate into a family, parents should not use this, as it causes more downfalls than successes. This app makes responsible teenagers feel like bad kids because their parents don’t trust them enough to make smart choices. Are most teenagers notorious for making bad decisions? Yes, but that is what shapes you into being a better person in the future. Teenagers in particular have been proven to thrive the most when they have freedom and feel like they are trusted. The website “Raising Children” tells us that the best way to teach a preteen independence for their future is to give them opportunities to practice being independent while they can still feel comfortable talking to their parents if something does go wrong. With this app, teenagers don’t get a chance to learn their own independence because they are constantly being watched. From what I have heard from others, this app teaches kids to sneak around their parents and that can do a lot more harm than stopping for ice cream on the way home after a bad day at school. What most parents don’t realize is that being a little more lenient on a few things like location and curfew can be a lot better for kids than monitoring their every move. Teenagers need a little room to breathe and, if you allow that, they are less likely to rebel or act out because they feel a little more free. This eliminates the need to use their energy toward negative behavior. A child being tracked is always going to feel on edge or nervous even if they aren’t doing anything wrong. This can continue to develop over time and cause problems in the future. Finally, the app Life360 takes away the fun and carefree part of teenage years that our parents had growing up. A reliable teen should be able to have fun in their free time. Yes, I understand that parents just want their children to be safe out in the world but sometimes taking on a little responsibility and feeling like you have a little control over your own life can help a teenager feel like the good person they are trying to become. The websites “Wired” and “TechCrunch” tell us that as of 2016, only 16% of parents used Life360 but the app has grown more popular in recent years with now over 26 million users worldwide. The world we live in today is already threatening and stressful and the last thing some kids need is smothering. A little bit of alone time can do a lot for one person. Teens just need to breathe sometimes without the thought of knowing their parents are watching them through their phones. Living in fear of getting into trouble can cause a large strain on parent- child relationships and can easily be avoided by setting ground rules and establishing trust from the beginning. If the child proves they are trustworthy, then there should be no reason to track them on their phone.