With all of the technology that is running rampant in society today, it is no surprise that the current generation is basically controlled by technology. Technology such as tablets, computers, and smartphones permeates the habitat of both children and teens alike. One of the biggest controversies to arrive at over this topic is whether or not it is acceptable in the name of safety to utilize a cell phone tracker of any kind.
There are many pros in favour of using traffic devices, but there are also many cons as well. It is up to the reader to educate themselves on the statistics and reasoning before making their own assumptions. Here is some information about the benefits and disadvantages of using a cell phone tracker.
Different Tracking Options
There are a few basic methods of cell phone trackers.
- A GPS cell phone tracker basically allows the parent to monitor wherever the child happens to go while the cell phone is on their person. When it comes to using a cell phone GPS tracker, this is limited to the location of the device only, not other content.
- A cell phone number tracker will virtually only allow the parent to track the phone numbers that their child is corresponding with.
- An activity cell phone tracker will allow the parent to track all of the activity that goes on with their child’s phone, from pictures and apps to texts and calls.
- Some options even work to do all three of these things—texts, location and browsing history.
All of these trackers vary depending on if the child has a track phone or a smartphone and they can vary by price and availability. Parents can get a free cell phone tracker online such as the google cell phone tracker that is utilized through Google maps, or they can download a free cell phone tracker app to their child’s phone.
The Benefits and Pros
There are many benefits for parents who want to utilize a phone tracker for their child, and most parents tend to be in favour of the practice overall. It is important to realize that these mainly hinge on other people’s opinions and it is important for you to make your own assumptions regarding your own research.
- Keeps the Child Safe
With this generation, the internet is openly at their fingertips. A 2013 report shows that 93 percent of all teens go online daily. They have even been dubbed “Screen Babies” because virtually everyone born in the last 5 or ten years will grow up on technology and screen time. Technology is a great benefit, but it can also yield a lot of dangers as well.
One of the main reasons by far that parents choose to put tracking devices on their children’s phones is to keep them safe. With their frame of mind, there is so much garbage that goes on out in the World Wide Web, that it becomes almost impossible to avoid some of the bad things that take place.
- Cyber Bullying: This is something that takes place everywhere and can happen to anyone. According to an anti-bullying movement and website, around fifty-two percent of students admitted to being cyberbullied. That same statistic said that only about half of those victims would confide in their parents.
Regular in-person bullying is usually bad, but it is much more frequently noticed and stopped. Cyberbullying may go on for a long time without anyone realizing it, and oftentimes can even lead to a child committing suicide. With a tracker, parents feel as though they can monitor and likewise prevent this sort of thing from happening to their child.
- Sexual Predators: unfortunately, there are many otherwise that children and teens can be threatened online. Oftentimes, sexual offenders and predators will prey on students without them even realizing it by posing as a teen boy or girl and getting to know the student as a friend. This can often escalate into a desire to exchange photos, sometimes inappropriate or even meet up in person.
As a parent, this is a horrible nightmare, and they will often choose to monitor their children’s information to help prevent this possibility. Keeping a track of their correspondence can help parents determine if their child is befriending someone who may not be altogether truthful, and prevent their child from meeting someone without their permission or sending incriminating photographs that can essentially be used to control them.
- Keeps a Child Accountable
Another huge reason that parents use to justify tracking their children is that it is a great way to keep kids accountable. Most adults from a different generation know firsthand what it is like to sneak around behind parents’ back, especially with all the temptations to do wrong in this society. Tracking is another attempt at making sure their children do not make the mistakes that they did and to help them live optimally.
- Follow the Rules: Many parents set a certain standard of rules for their children, such as who they are allowed to hang out with and what places they are allowed to go. A physical GPS tracker can help parents make sure their children are actually going where they ask to go, or actually even asking before they go anywhere.
In the same way, the content tracker will help ensure that they are not associating with friends or people that the parent deems inappropriate. If the child is corresponding with people that the parent has cut out of their friend list, or someone who is potentially a danger or bad influence, then the parent can take adequate measures to fix the problem.
- Sexting: In this day and age, sex is a very dominant topic, especially among teenagers. Many teens are getting more and more creative in their sexual endeavours in terms of being able to have various sexual exploits all without their parents finding out. Sexting is just another commodity stemming from this.
Sexting is when individuals send sexual or nude photos of themselves to each other in an attempt to find pleasure. This can not only be a hindrance to the teen, but also to their dignity, as nude photos can be used as a means of blackmail. With monitors on their texting and photos, parents can readily know if their child is participating.
- Cyber Bullying: this was discussed above, however making sure the child is not the victim is only part of the issue. Sometimes it is the other way around, and the teen is actually the bully. Keeping a check on the teen’s information is a way to make sure they are abstaining from the bullying as well.
- Gives Peace of Mind
Overall, the main purpose of the tracking device is to give the parents peace of mind. Those who are in favour of trackers claim that utilizing a tracker can help them keep an easy mind even when they thoroughly trust their child. Sometimes bad stuff happens to the best children and teens, and so by their opinion, a tracker is the best way to keep a mind at ease. For instance, if their child gets abducted by someone, there is a great likelihood they can use the tracker to find their child before anything bad occurs.
The Disadvantages and Cons
While there are quite a lot of benefits that come from being able to track your child’s material, usage and whereabouts, there are also a lot of cons that come from this as well. Some of these disadvantages are speculated, and essentially the decision has to come from which of these outcomes is more important to you.
- Lack of Trust
The main problem in an argument against the tracking device is the fact that most teens believe it shows a complete lack of trust in them. Most teenagers want to be able to prove themselves as worthy of trust and be allowed to make their own decisions freely.
- Getting a teenager to actually consent to have a tracker on their phone is very difficult.
- Because of this reason, a lot of parents go through an outside source and do it anonymously.
- This oftentimes causes a lot of trust issues with the child if they find out about the tracker.
- Because of growing independence, teenagers oftentimes want to be free to do what they want without the reprimand or the watchful eye of their parents.
- In some cases the use of a tracker can lead to a lot of resentment of the parent by the child, causing them to run away from home, or to leave as soon as they are legally old enough.
- Loss of Learning
When most of the parents of this generation were younger, there was not a lot of technology around, and this type of advancement was not available. Instead, they were forced to learn for themselves what it cost to make a mistake.
- Many of those who are against trackers argue that it is the responsibility of a teenager to make their own mistakes.
- They believe it is up to them to discover the ways of the world on their own and to “live and learn” so to speak.
- In a way, trackers can hinder a teen from actually learning their lesson and instead only foster a mindless type of obedience.
- Most teens who are tracked either don’t know they are being tracked or completely resent being tracked. Very few actually don’t mind the tracking.
- Problems with Privacy
The last problem with this type of method is that there happen to be a lot of privacy issues associated with it. Sometimes, the applications and processes are not completely secure, and it has been known that sometimes attackers use these devices to track children that are not their own. This security risk is sometimes enough to turn people off from the idea completely. It is important if you are going to utilize a tracking device on your child that you make sure it is properly secured before using it.
The choice is ultimately yours to decide on. Regardless of whether you think trackers are God’s gift to parenting, or if you believe that they are best left alone, it is your responsibility to make the best decisions you can for you and your child. The main key is to educate yourself thoroughly on your options, weigh all of the pros and cons, and make a decision that is based on love.