Updated on: 26-09-2023
Certainly one of the favorite memories for a lot of people from late elementary school is walking with a bunch of friends. They'd stop in a park beside the trainstation on the way home and play their favorite games, their legs shaking at the cool autumn air. Their parents did not recognize their exact coordinates, plus they did not appear to care if they did not come home at the same time as usual. Such big freedom for kids.
But This vision of kids seems tougher and tougher to comprehend now.
Simply take Smartwatches promoted to parents as a security tool for their kids, allowing parents to track their children using GPS. There a lot of Swmartwatches that serve that same purpose, Amongst Others. The smartwatch market as an entire is almost $5 billion in the USA , which is estimated to rise 18 per cent in 2020, said consumer tech industry analyst at NPD Group, a market research provider.
Lots of products promoted to parents include a few texting phone and pedometer features, however, certainly one of these key selling things is safety. As an example: "a product lets kids live their childhood and exploring the world out while giving their parents confidence without worries and fear about wondering where they are or if they are safe." Parents in online reviews replicate the latter opinion, about assuaging parental worry, "Now you simply can not be too safe!" These parents are saying, also,"You would like to know where they are, and they are safe at every moment"
However, these products overlook the purpose of exactly what it means to be a child, limiting kids freedom. Certainly trackers will prevent our children from believing truly free.
GPS tracking of young kids is new, there's no reliable research about it, most research about kids and smartwatches is approximately weight loss utilizing the pedometer functionality.
With that in mind, the child development experts are concerned that tracking young kids might possibly influence their freedom and responsibility, and it might likewise cause them to become anxious. After all, adults believe totally pumped out whenever they find their location has been monitored without their permission.
Throughout the elementary school years, children have to eventually become increasingly more independent and responsible, and we need to give them some freedom. If you inform them that they truly are not permitted to leave the neighborhood, plus, so they will need to be home at a particular time however and you are still tracking their moves, that becomes a problem.
"You’re trusting a device instead of trusting your child," said Sally Beville Hunter, assistant clinical professor in child and family studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
They might not be learning critical skills such as knowing where they are or keeping track of time, if they know their parents are monitoring them, and they probably yell at them through the smartwatch to come home, Dr. Hunter said. Children's brains are still developing. If you don’t let them develop these skills, she said, “The part of their brain that’s supposed to be maturing in a more responsible way has shifted.”
Dr. Joseph F. Hagan Jr., also a clinical scientist in pediatrics at the University of Vermont, was likewise worried with the subliminal messages this type of monitoring could be sending childs. The threat of their own social and emotional development isn't just threats to their freedom; it is about the stress that could occur out of "being exposed to a world being painted to them as dangerous, when it’s not all that dangerous," Dr. Hagan stated. There're some signs that anxiety amongst children is increasing -- a study published in 2018 revealed that diagnoses of anxiety for kids 6 to 17 rose almost 20 per cent in 2003 to 2012, we really don't need to add to it considering that children are much safer with most measures than they were 5 decades back.
In reality, the danger of a kid being abducted by somebody they don't know -- the most parental dread intended to be relieved by a GPS tracker -- is still small in the US. By far most of missing kids are runaways, and kids running away aren't going to carry their own smartwatches with them. Besides, even in a rare case of abducting by a stranger, a GPS tracking watch can't ensure a kid's safety. The kidnapper can switch off the watch or throw it from the window. Motivated kidnappers are not even defeated by GPS tracking microchips implanted in an individual's body; yet there was a case in Mexico in 2010 at which kidnappers extracted a microchip from a guy's arm using scissors.
A daughter was asked how she felt about the reality of her dad tracked her location from time to time, "Indeed I am a little creeped out because of it, as my dad is able to know where I am," she explained. "However, it makes me feel more secure. I don't think I will get kidnapped, but if so, he could find me call the police." As soon as I asked her when she seriously considered getting kidnapped before she got her GPS Smartwatch like Gizmo, she said not necessarily.
Lots of the kids have Smartwatches and a couple have smartphones. Most of them don't think their parents would let them go to school without a smartwatch, however, the tracking device does not disturb them as they wouldn't look at it all the time
It is not saying that smartwatches for kids have no positive aspects. As an instance, their texting and call functionality might be helpful in a world where payphones are not available the way that they were. Kids love the fact they can call or text their friends using the smartwatch. And for kids with special needs, the GPS tracking feature can make more sense.
The important thing is the relationship between the parent and the child. If the monitoring is temporary with other responsibilities that's one thing. But if its permanent that's far from ideal. As children get to their teenage years being monitored can endanger trust between parents and kids, as a psychologist stated.
There has always been tension between safety for a parent and independence for a child.