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Menlo Students React to Parents’ Use of Tracking Apps

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Menlo Students React to Parents’ Use of Tracking Apps

Screenshot of Find My Friends app. Staff Photo: Kate Hammond.

Screenshot of Find My Friends app. Staff Photo: Kate Hammond.

Screenshot of Find My Friends app. Staff Photo: Kate Hammond.

Screenshot of Find My Friends app. Staff Photo: Kate Hammond.

Kate Hammond, Spread Editor

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The apps Find My Friends and Life360 have become popular amongst teens and parents. Find My Friends is an app that allows one to track their friend’s and family’s location. Similarly, Life360 is also an app that tracks location, but also has the ability to track other aspects on your phone. “My parents use Life360, which allows them to see my location, my phone battery percentage, top driving speed and history of location of where you have been in the past,” Junior Sidney Peña said.

Although this may seem like an invasion of privacy, many students believe their parents use it in case of an emergency or potentially something dangerous happening when they are out with their friends. “They know where I am but it does not affect me that much because there is nothing I really need to hide from them. In the beginning I was really against it, but I feel like as I have gotten used to it, it has become apart of my daily life,” Sophomore Yvonne Li said.

Junior Josh Poulos does not live with his parents in Aptos during the school week, so his parents use more trackers to confirm his location. “My parents have Find My Friends, a tracker in my car, they make me carry a tracker, and also Life360 incase Find My Friends does not work.” Although this may seem like a lot, Poulos understands the worries because of his living situation.  “It is more fair because they want to know what I am doing at night or with my friends since they do not see me when I come home. It is nice for them to have a general idea of where I am in case something were to happen, so I respect it.”

Along with parents using it to track their kids, Li uses it to track her parents as well. “I also use it for them. When I know that they are coming to pick me up and they say they are five minutes away, but I can clearly see that they are a lot longer than five minutes away. It is double ended in that way.”

Along with tracking, Life360 allows one to track the speed of which another is driving, which bothers Peña: “The thing that bothers me most about it is that it shows how fast you drive, so I will get texts from my mom saying, ‘Sidney slow down you are driving too fast.’”

Overall, while many students are opposed to their parents tracking them, some would prefer it over constant text messages from their parents: “I would rather have my mom track me instead of texting me every second asking where I am or asking me to come home,” Peña said.

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Menlo Students React to Parents’ Use of Tracking Apps