For the Aspiring Helicopter Parent an App That Monitors Everything Your Child Does

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, July 31, 2014

For the Aspiring Helicopter Parent an App That Monitors Everything Your Child Does

Goodbye "big brother." Hello "big mother." A new app, "Mamabear" has been created to not only provide parents --- mainly moms, by nature of the job --- with an "all-in-one worry-free parenting" solution, providing the capability to track kids' locations, driving habits, and social media interactions.

Will technology wonders never cease?

Mamabear searches everything a parent deems pertinent to their child's online life, filters them, and presents them in the app's news feed. It offers updates on who the child is friending and following, and who is following them. The app provides info on photo tags, and mentions, and of restricted words when they appear on the child's social media feeds. It alerts parents to Instagram uploads. Mamabear tracks kids' locations, sending geo-fenced alerts (where a child leaves a geographic area predetermined by the parent), and provides driving alerts that notify parents when a teen driver exceeds a pre-configured speed limit. The app allows kids to check in with their parents using emoticons, as well as "come get me" and "emergency" alerts.

"I just love having this app on my phone," said no teen ever.
"I feel so safe now that my mom always knows where I am," said no teen ever.
"It's comforting to know that my mom is watching everything on my social media feeds 24/7," said no teen ever.

The app, co-founded and run by Robyn Spoto admits getting teens on Mambear after they've had a phone for years could be a challenge.

Mamabear already has 100,000 active parents using the app, and has recently raised $1.4 million in funding to help them fund growth and development.

My concern is that this app actually feeds an inappropriate culture of fear among parents and I am skeptical about how an app like this will serve to assist parents in raising self-reliant, responsible young adults. But for helicopter parents, it might be the best app yet created.

Source: TechCrunch