Want to spy on your teen's driving via the text messages of judgmental strangers? There's an app for that! Seriously. Created by a dad in Florida, howismykiddriving.co comes complete with a bumper sticker which reads "How is my KID driving? Push Text my tag #."
Okay. As a parent whose kids are still (thankfully) 5 and 9 years away from the legal driving age, when I first heard about "How is my KID driving?" I was like, Hmm. Not a bad idea, perhaps. I mean, at this point the thought of my kids operating motor vehicles someday is more or less utterly terrifying, so ... you know. Sure, critics claim the app will encourage drivers to text behind the wheel (presumably one of the main things you DON'T want your teen doing), but tattletales could just as easily pull over and text from a parking space or make a mental note of the tag number and text from home.
Then I started thinking about ACTUAL teens ...
What it was like to actually be a teen, what teens actually do ... what it might be like to have actual teens, and something occurred to me.
Sure, I'd get plenty of texts about my kids' driving with that app, but they wouldn't be well-intentioned alerts about blown stop signs or parking in handicapped spots from road rule-abiding folk. Oh no. They'd be a lot more colorful and a lot less accurate, from other teens (probably friends of my own teens) playing their personal version of Punk'd: I SAW UR KID DRVNG & SHE WAS DRNKNG BEER & SWRVNG ALL OVR & SHE LOOKD MAD STONED TOO or, UR KID BE DRVNG CRZY & HE HAD LIKE 5 HOOKERS IN DA BKST & HE HAD A GUN TOO
Um, that would get really, really annoying. Fast. Plus there's the whole "cry wolf" possibility, though if my son be pimpin' at 16, yo, I guess his driving would be the least of my concerns. No thanks.
Would you want an app that let you "spy" on your kid in the car?
Image via John Fischer/Flickr