Tracking Students: Is It Worth It?


Courtesy to Life360

Most parents track their children nowadays due to new technology that allows us to receive real-time updates about someone’s location, but is it really worth it?

Gabby McCutchan , Editor

As high schoolers, the desire for independence constantly runs rapid through our minds. We continuously feels as though parents/adults are persistently trying to discover new ways to keep their eye on us, and there’s a new method that has taken it stance nationally. Tracking apps. Apps such as Life360 offer parents and guardians 24/7 access to our exact whereabouts, where we’ve been, and where we’re heading.

The constant awareness of always knowing that our moms and/or dads know our exact location weighs in on both the pros and cons of the situation.

– Trust. One of the main reasons as to why people might feel a little hovered over when someone can track them stems from the notion that they can’t be trusted. Someone is always watching what we’re doing, almost as if they’re waiting for us to make a mistake, and that leads to students believing that their parents don’t trust them.

– Responsibility. As we grow older, we have this natural urgency to become independent and leave our responsibilities to ourselves, and tracking devices halter that growth. Russell Lang (11), who is not tracked by his parents, explains that “the child should be responsible for themselves in situations and possess the same freedom and independence that the past generations had.” Back when cell phones weren’t a thing, the only way to find out about your child’s whereabouts (rather than hearing it from your child directly) is through the talk of the town, which even through that, it would have taken triple the time than it does now to log on and access real time updates.

– Invasion of privacy. Letting students know that they’re being detected 24/7 isn’t exactly the most comforting thought, and it’s also a huge invasion of privacy. Enjoying yourself can be a hard task when you come home from a coffee day with friends and the first thing your mom asks is, “How was the coffee?” It feels as though you can’t get your time alone, because your parent is practically gonna be there with you anyway.


– Staying relevant with the current technology. Being able to access a student’s location didn’t become a prominent aspect of parenthood until a couple of years ago, and now that it is an option, many parents are choosing to utilize it. In a world where society is too fast to keep up with, keeping track of a student without the help of a tracking app is extremely hard, in most cases. It’s the afternoon. Your mom asks your sister where you are because she said she overheard you talking about going somewhere. You told your sister that same morning that you’re going to the movies after school in downtown Brea with a few friends. During the time it took from you telling your sister your plans and your mom inquiring her about your location, she’s washed the dishes, went out to lunch with friends, kept up with social media, and planned her entire calendar for the month. Unless you have a photogenic memory, remembering something as miniscule as a sibling’s agenda isn’t the top priority on your list. This is where a tracking app would come in handy.

– The consciousness of having a tracking app on your device could ultimately prevent you from doing something you know probably isn’t the best idea. For example, if your friends construct this brilliant idea to Uber to the Irvine Spectrum Center from the Starbucks in East Lake Village, being aware of the fact that your mom is probably sitting at home watching the little circle with your picture on it that’s hovering over your location will no doubt send you into a guilt trip that thwarts your excitement. And chances are, the more nervous you are about your parents knowing where you going, there’s all the more reasons as to why you shouldn’t go.

– Emergency. Mrs. Stephenson (Staff), explains her reasoning as to why she would most definitely keep a tracker on her child in this day and age. She mentions that what’s safe is no longer safe anymore, it’s not possible to send a child to the market alone without the fear of knowing that a shooting occurred at Trader Joe’s back in July 2018. Her perspective on the subject is not that she distrusts her child, but that she distrusts other people within our society. Parents’ biggest concern is making sure their child is okay, and tracking apps such as Life360 give our guardians peace at heart in regards to our safety.

Tracking apps are extremely annoying and tiresome to deal with in our years of being a young adult, but they also keep our parents up to date with our location and ensure our safety.