The World is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

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Copied from Sun-Times

Best Buy is selling a transmitting device that lets parents keep track of their children. Parents can place the device in a child's backpack or lunch box, for example.

The "Little Buddy Child Tracker" retails for $100 (far less than other devices that sell for $200 to $500). It combines global satellite positioning and cellular technology to signal the child's whereabouts to a computer or smartphone.

Parents can program the device to set up specific times and locations where the child is supposed to be -- in school or at home, for example -- and the device sends a text message if the child leaves the site in that time.

I don't know what disturbs me more, the fact that such a device exists or that the Little Buddy is one of several available on the market. Okay, if you're a parent that would actually purchase such a device, you should probably just hit the little x right up there in the right hand corner of your screen (or the left if you happen to be a mac user). I'm pretty sure the rest of this post will offend the fuck out of you.

What the fuck is happening to our society? My eyes are bleeding and I may go drown myself in the river after reading this. I'm not sure if the main goal of such a device is to protect children from the boogy man or to prevent parents from having to teach their children that they cannot do whatever the fuck they want whenever they want without repercussions.

Why does an 8 year old kid need a cellphone? Is their posse that large they need to track them using an address book?

Is it necessary for EVERY 16 year old in the world to own their own car? I used to hitchhike. Yep, that's right, if I wanted to get my ass into my friend's house I hitchhiked. Of course I would never condone this for my own children. I was never what one would consider a delicate flower. I'm sure my loud voice and non stop chatter put any thoughts of child abduction right out of the head of anyone with nefarious ideas. Plus I was a really ugly teenager.

Birthday parties for 10 year old girls at beauty parlors. SWSNBN had one for Nora last year. She arrived home looking like Joan fucking Rivers and had that much perfume on that she smelled like a whore in distress. What is that? This is fun? What happened to sleepovers where little girls stay up all night giggling and talking about boys?

Not failing kids in school. Oh I could write 647 posts about the absolute fuckedupness of this? The premise being that failing children in grade school diminishes self esteem. Tell me this - what does it do to a 16 year old's self esteem when he gets to high school and can only read at a grade 7 level? Do you know what happens to these kids -they realize when they are about 13 or 14 that they do not have to work, they do not have to study, they do not have to try, because ya know what, no one is going to do a good goddamn thing about it.

So tell me, did you ever hitchhike? Do your kids have cellphones? Am I just uncool dear interneters?


L said...
November 4, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Obviously the inventor of this product did not think about those of us who wouldn't mind losing our kids from time to time.

In all seriousness, I'm with you. When I got divorced, my EX gave my daughter a cell phone when she was 9, because he was trying to be cool Daddy. She had to have one because her friends had one. Well guess what? That shit don't fly with me. I refused to let her bring it to my house. I did not allow her to use it at my house until she was 13, because that is when it came in handy for me to text her in regards to picking her up from school, where to meet me, etc. He did the same with our son, but I applied the same rule to him. He is 11 now and still no cell phone at my house. What is interesting is that because I did that, they did not get all wrapped up in their cell phone like most kids their age are with their friends. It made things inconsistent for them to the point where they actually lost interest in it. My daughter, at the age of 14 now, still is not into texting a whole lot with her friends and half the time forgets to turn her cell phone on. My rule is that if her friends want to talk to her, they call the home phone, cuz I want to know who my kids are talking to. Because of that, she rarely uses her cell phone.

When it comes to that new electronic device, it was probably invented by some paranoid parent who uses a leash on their kid as well. My leash for my kids was to teach them not to run around like wild animals when in public places, as well as the phrase, "Get your ass back over here, RIGHT NOW!"

I know some parents who will buy that damn electronic device. But I'm with you...I talk to my kids about strangers all the time and tell them like it is, which is if someone tries to kidnap you, fight like hell or else they're going to do awful things to you and then kill you...mine as well risk your life trying to get away than be afraid and go along with him. I also want my kids to be able to experience life, even if it means making some mistakes along the way. Sometimes that's how we learn.

I am so glad you talked about this.

Dual Mom said...
November 4, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Oh I could go on and on about all the things that qualify a "good" parents these days.

Did you know that yelling at your child does as much damange to them as spanking them? It's true, I read it on the internet. I am so going to try and find the article for you. You will piss your pants laughing at the absurdity.

Aunt Juicebox said...
November 5, 2009 at 10:26 AM

My daughter got a cell phone in the 6th grade for emergencies. She changed schools and they had this fucked up policy that kids aren't allowed to use the phone in the office. WTF? So if she missed her bus or something, she was just supposed to wait there until I figured out she wasn't getting off the bus. She never really used it though, except to call me or her dad, when she didn't have access to a phone, and for a period of time where her dad didn't have a home phone. She didn't start texting and all that until 9th grade. And she only texts, she rarely call anyone, from either her cell phone or her home phone.

I have mixed feelings on things like trackers. I mean, don't let your 5 year old walk home from school and you won't have to worry so much. Not too many kids get abducted from school, so if you make sure your kid gets in and back home, that's half the time they'd be away from you. My biggest fear lies in someone kidnapping my daughter from our home. I know part of this is just my OCD, but my cousin lives in Homasassa FL and her son took the bus with a little girl down there who was kidnapped out of her room by the guy across the street, and he repeatedly raped her, kept her in a closet and then buried her alive.

I don't think trackers will help in most situations anyway. Your child could be dead by the time you realize they are even missing.

Anonymous said...
November 5, 2009 at 4:42 PM

I don't get the cell phone for kids thing either. We didn't have them growing up and yet we still managed to find a way to call our parents if we were out, in trouble, or sick. Our friends called our homes. We wrote notes in class, didn't text. It worked fine for everyone my age and older and it will be fine for them if they don't have one.
And yes I hitchiked, in a supremely stupid way at time (ex: 2 am hitch hiking from South Orange County to Los Angeles with a driver and passenger that were supremely high, and should have been going in the opposite direction to San Diego). I got lucky, but the point is, part of growing up is the fun and adventure that goes along with not having a GPS device tracking your every move. There were just as many kidnappings/child molestations in the 80's as there are today, the media just wasn't as hyper about them as they are now.

Dual Mom said...
November 5, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Fuck you're cheery today Aunt Juicebox.

That's just awful. We all have our irrational fears. Mine is letting my teenagers get their license, whereby there will come a time the three of them are in the car, with the teen driving and they'll get in an accident. And die...all of them. Completely irrational, I know, but a fear of mine.

Dual Mom said...
November 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM

You're my new hero OM. Hiking in LA....damn.

Lola said...
November 6, 2009 at 5:10 PM

I'd like to get one of those tracking devices implanted in my kid's arm just so that he can be tracked down by the authorities if the unthinkable happened.

As for me having to deal with a GPS and texts when he strays from the yard, not a chance. I can't stand my GPS in my car, so I'm not going that route.

He has use of my husband's extra cell that was a former employee's cell. It will be gone if we hire someone new, but in the meantime, he takes it with him if he goes to a sleepover or when he's skiing. He can't text or go online, so he basically calls me to chitchat and takes a bunch of crappy pictures ;) He's a little man of few words, so I don't see him calling his buds or wanting to text anyone for quite some time.

Of course I hitched. I'm 43, grew up in Podunk, so we all did it. It was rare that you didn't know the person picking you up, and I was such a little bitch that I doubt anyone wanted to kidnap me ;)