Life 360: The app causing controversy between parents and teens

A Life360 user tracking their family.

By: Kate Hedger | Writer

December 12, 2019

Life360 is an app taking over families across the nation. Nothing sounds better to cautious parents than an app that can tell them where and when their child goes places. It seems simple enough; your parents know your safe and you’re able to go have fun without receiving annoying texts and phone calls asking where you are. But what seems like convenience and safety to a parent could feel like an invasion of privacy to a child.

Launched in 2011, life 360 is a family locator app the provides you and your loved ones with a plethora of information. You can see where your family is at any given moment, see how fast each person drives, and see when your family members arrive and leave certain locations. There are mixed opinions on it, but a majority of parents to teenagers find the app extremely useful and convenient.

“I appreciate how easy it is to see where everyone is,” says Marylin Vierra. “Has your dad left work? Are you still at the beach? And for my daughter who walks home from school, it’s nice to see where she is. If I didn’t have that app and couldn’t reach my kids for some reason I would be freaking out.” 

A parent’s point of view is very understandable. They just want to keep their kids safe. But most teenagers who have been forced to download the app find it invasive and unnecessary.

“Life 360 honestly sucks,” says Junior Arya Nemati, “Everywhere I go I have to think about my mom seeing it and how she will react to it which makes me not want to go out and be with my friends as much.”

Other teens share a similar experience with the app. Junior Kai Burleson says “I don’t like it, it’s an absolute invasion of my privacy. My mom will call me with a hundred questions asking where I am and who I’m with.”

 A common argument against the app is that it doesn’t teach children independence. Many think that instead of spying on their kids, parents should address their concerns with their child and discuss what their child should do if something went wrong while they were out. Apps like this create a false sense of safety. Just because a parent knows where their child is doesn’t mean they know they’re safe. 

All parents worry about their kids, but tracking apps like Life360 might be taking “safety” a little too far. 

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