“Life 360” breeds distrust among families

Jake Melton, Editor-in-Chief

“Life360” gives real time location sharing and vehicle speeds between families but at what costs? 

While the idea behind the app is intelligent at first glance, parents should consider all of the aspects before downloading it. 

First, one should look at the fundamental characteristics in a parent-child relationship. The first of these to come to mind are usually protection, trust and enlightenment. 

While “Life360” does provide protection, it simultaneously drives a stake through a family’s trust.

Trust is an essential step in growing up. Trust is the foundation of independence and maturity. What’s to make a child think he has his or her parent’s trust if he is constantly being watched? This lack of trust becomes a downward spiral causing countless problems between a child and his parents.

“Life360” on a child’s phone is a parent in the front seat, a livestream of a teen’s life and a house arrest ankle monitor all rolled into one app. 

An individual’s identity is defined during his of her teenage years. It is a time to create memories and to make lifelong friendships. With the leash of “Life360,” a teen misses out on many of these opportunities. 

This app gives children a sense of captivity. A lack of freedom, too many rules and expectations or stress can make teens rebel in order to gain freedom and explore their own identity. 

Teens need time away from parents and the stresses of life so they can relax and learn to listen to their own voice. If they’re always being told what to do, where to go, and who to be, they will never learn to make their own wise, rational decisions.

Unfortunately this app forces teenagers to do just what the app attempts to prevent: rebel. Because of the increased supervision, adolescents look for ways to finesse this parental surveillance system, resulting in more ingenuitive ways of being sneaky. Teens often use “burner phones” or fake phones to change their location.

When an app leads teens to intentionally rebel, parents should consider this: is there a place for this app on family members’ phones. So ask yourself: is broken trust within a family worth an app on your phone?