Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Keeping E-Track of the Kids

Today's forest of electronic media is a beckoning frontier for youth. Kids stuck in city apartments, packed into suburban tracts, isolated in the exurbs - many can hop online, fire up the cellphone, or tap into satellite TV.

How can parents guide children on the proper use of the new media - or just be able to control what's being viewed, keep tabs on Web wanderings, or even track a teen's whereabouts?

About these ads

The scene may be set for a hot generational debate over parents' rights versus children's privacy.

That debate will bring only some minor tantrums at the younger end of the spectrum. Parents who purchase a programmable "Weemote" (see story, page 14) are just making sure that their three- to eight-year-olds see nothing on television they shouldn't, while giving the kids a sense of control over what they can see.

The squawks are likely to be louder - and the competition for electronic supremacy fiercer - when the goal is to monitor a 14-year-old's late-night e-mail or trace a 16-year-old's travels via her cellphone.

The electronic gear to do just that and more is at hand in the marketplace - a boon to watchful parents, perhaps, but also a cause for second thoughts.

Electronic one-upmanship is no substitute for family communication. Censorship is no substitute for judgment. Great tracking ability is no substitute for trust.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.