Minnesota, USA May 5, 2011- For the parents who have iPhones and also provide their children with iPhones as well, parenting could be a less anxiety-ridden experience when it comes to the time apart by installing the simple apps that are available. If parents are really concerned about monitoring children's behaviors - such as driving speed or other activities - the app known as Footprints gives real-time information on your children's whereabouts. Coupled with the app known as "I'mokay", an app that gives teens incentive to update family on present location and activities, a parent can be rest assured that their children are in the locations that they state and partaking in the activities that they say - hopefully unless you have extra sneaky children. You cannot expect one method to do the trick, right
Footprints may seem like the 'scary privacy invasions' that are causing a serious outcry from the public. However, random people cannot just follow your children around because your children's phones would need to 'approve' of the tracking prior to revealing locations to anyone. On top of that, parents can add a passcode to the app in order for it to be disabled - no more kids voluntarily turning off the app and 'running free'. Currently the app is free for the first 60 days of use; you can have a yearly subscription for only $USD2.99/month
The "I'mokay" app would encourage your children to communicate with you while on their outings. Although I am hesitant that 'truthful images and data' would be sent, I assume that if the Footprints app is also in use, there is no way for a child to say one thing about activities and be somewhere these activities are obviously not held. The advantage to this app is that parents are able to visually see who their children are accompanying in activities. It also opens up the lines of communication if the parent spots anything in a photo that could be of concern; do not expect much when kids can easily 'leave out' anything they do not want you to see. The idea of the service is that children will earn 'tokens' from parents in exchange for something of value to them - i.e. money or other reward. The best part is that it is free (for now).
Obviously these applications could be used for other situations other than parenting. It proposes an important question, "Should we trust our loved ones" It is natural to want to protect others, but there is a point when it is too much. Remember, there was a time when no one had tools like this. Even though we have the technology to do this tracking and monitoring, it does not mean that it is entirely right. I firmly believe that children and other loved ones are more likely to talk if they feel that they are not being doubted from the beginning. Perhaps use this as a last resort - after initiating communication and meeting constant resistance.