By Pete Pichaske
It’s 10 o’clock on a Friday night. Do you know where your 18-year-old is?
You do if you’re Mary Kramer, mother of four and a firm believer in using the latest technology to keep up with her children. The Easton mom has an iPhone app that lets her know exactly where her 18-year-old son is at all times.
“Some people I tell about it say, ‘Whatever happened to privacy?’” says Kramer, chair of the Talbot County Parent Coalition. “But it’s not a matter of privacy, it’s a matter of safety. I don’t know who he’s talking to or who’s he’s with. … But I know when he said he’s going to the Y, but he’s not at the Y.”
Illusltration by Yun Ju Yang
Kramer is one of a growing number of parents taking advantage of the proliferation of GPS-equipped smartphones and apps to keep track of their tech-savvy teens. The devices have names like Family Tracker, Find My Kids and GPS Tracking Pro, and supporters say their use by parents goes hand in hand with monitoring children’s Internet and social networking habits.