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At a recent vet appointment, the doctor asked if I wanted to have my cats microchipped. I knew what microchipping was, but when she explained how fast, easy and cheap it was (two minutes, one shot, $20) I immediately signed up.
“They should have this for kids,” I joked.
Turns out, they practically do. TrickorTracker, a new smartphone app, works like a mobile GPS device when installed in both the kid’s and the parent’s phones. Now, instead of actually being with your children, you can keep tabs on them the new-fashioned way: through your phones. TrickorTracker is offering a free trial run just in time for Halloween, but afterward you’ll have to pony up a one-time $9.99 fee for lifetime coverage.
I can just imagine a mom saying, “Susie said they were staying at the skating rink all afternoon, but she just walked over to the mall! She is so grounded.”
I’m all about using technology to make life easier, but stuff like this scares me. First of all, just because you know where your child’s phone is doesn’t mean you can (or should) confidently assume the kid is in possession of it. Then there’s the matter of technology -- namely, that it can fail. Finally, a tracking app could give some parents a false sense of security when they send their costumed cuties off to roam the streets sans supervision.
I can see forking over for TrickorTracker as a backup measure for, say, a trip to Disneyland or a family vacation. If you’ve ever lost sight of your child in a crowded place -- even for a nanosecond -- you can imagine what a relief it would be to know you had the instant-tracking option. Otherwise, to me it’s simple: If you wouldn’t let your kids trek about town without a mobile monitor, you shouldn’t send them out with one. Period.
Would you use a mobile phone app to keep track of your kid? Chime in below!