Yesterday I received a flyer in the mail from AT&T. It is introducing a new service to our cell phone plan. Available now is a service named”AT&T Family Map”. What this does is use your cell phone to pinpoint your location, using GPS technology or cell towers depending on your cell phone’s capabilities. This for only $9.99 a month for up to 2 phones, more for more phones.
I’m not sure what think about this. Certainly shades of Big Brother come to mind, but since I’m a parent of teens I also understand the desire to know where my child is.
My husband immediatly said, “it’s first 30 days free, sign us up”, but then we talked about it and we are waiting a bit to really discuss the implications.
Do I trust my daughters? Before I answer that let’s think about how this service is to be beneficial. Certainly the plan is advertised for it’s safety and peace of mind selling points, but we all know that some parents are more hovering and nosey than I am and want to know every single move of their teen thinking it will prevent any negative or unacceptable behavior from said teen. My daughters have just aquired their drivers licenses in the last week, so now they are not just being dropped by me or being picked up by friends, they are leaving our house, with a set destination in mind and sending a text or calling upon arrival. In theory, I trust my daughters, but I’m honest and realistic, they will make poor choices at some point, I know this because it’s human nature as a teen and because I did it too.
Did you ever tell your parents you were going one place and went somewhere else? Sometimes it was innocent, sometimes it was not……….but in 1976 or so there were no cell phones, my folks would have found it difficult to tail me every minute, etc.
Welcome to 2009, where we have cell phones and GPS and devices we can put in cars to tell us the speed driven, the volume of the radio etc. Have we come to far? Are we too controlling?
I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know what our plans for the Family Map service are, I’m still thinking.