Parents have used GPS tracking devices to keep tabs on their younger children for as long as the devices have been popular in the mainstream. It makes sense to tag a toddler with a small GPS tracking device, especially on vacation or when letting the child run free on a playground. Taking a preventative measure like this could prevent the child’s abduction or injury, but at what age is the child responsible enough to not need one of these devices? Many would argue that it’s never too late to start tracking your child, but what if the person that you once cradled in your arms is no longer a child at all?
A new iPad app hopes to answer that question once and for all. Created by developers at Florida’s Lynn University, this new app will send alerts to administration, professors, and even parents if a student is tardy or absent from a class. Media outlets are calling this the “infantilization” of young people who are legally adults, and student outcry has made it clear that this is not a welcome system. Many have again started to wonder when the world will finally consider them an adult, and with applications and services like this enabling overbearing parents, a line needs to be drawn.
Opponents of this tracking system state that the app is an invasion of a student’s privacy, something that they are entitled to as an adult. While this system is still voluntary (for now), it’s not a stretch to see this system used to not only monitor a student’s tardiness, but their out-of-class activities as well. A parent with the ability to monitor and object to a student’s every action could limit that student’s ability to learn the social skills and life lessons that college provides. A student can’t learn to make their own decisions if their parent figure is still making all of them. Many professors are also against this new system, stating that, with alerts being sent to professors, students will no longer feel responsible for collecting missed assignments.
Those in support of the GPS tracker say that it is a parent’s responsibility to monitor their child at all times to make sure that their student is spending their tuition money wisely and not slacking off. While there is a grain of truth in that, a GPS activity tracker likely isn’t the best way to accomplish this. The president of the school even went as far as to claim that this system will lead to an 80% graduation rate.
Better ways to use a GPS tracker include…
– Keeping tabs on your pets.
– Monitoring fuel and fluid levels in a vehicle.
– Holding drivers responsible for speeding, seat belt use, and more.
– Dispatching emergency responders more effectively.
– Saving money on maintenance costs.
– Easier fleet management.
Do you think that a parent is overstepping their bounds by placing an activity tracker on their (legally adult) offspring?