life 360

by | Oct 14, 2023

I always seem to be the last to know about the latest life-sucking techno advances. In the last week two different people, both of whom I respect, have told me they track their children and/or spouses with their phones. I find this to be an appallingly dark treatise on the state of our species.

Am I the only one who finds tracking apps to be the creepiest thing ever invented? How did we become such a fear-based, surveillance-obsessed society? What is the value of a relationship that has so little intrinsic trust that one must track the other person’s activity to feel “safe” in the relationship? To me that sounds more like prison than partnership.

I feel blessed to have grown up in a time when “tracking” amounted to your mother screaming your name from the front porch out into the void, usually just to let you know dinner was ready. And I am grateful to have only known romantic partnerships in which each partner led an independent life of their own to enhance the one we created together. And to have raised my son to feel comfortable and safe venturing out on his own, taking risks and exploring the and world as children need to do. I understood that I could never protect him from every difficulty and that trying to shelter him from life would actual disable rather than empower him.

The people we love are sure to run into obstacles, will eventually die, and can leave anytime they want. As much as we wish we could effect these realities in our favor, the great human existential fear of abandonment cannot be solved by surveilling people while they’re here.

Believing in our ability — and right — to navigate the world apart from one another seems to me the natural result of building intrinsic trust in a relationship over time.

Really want “Life 360?” Go sit under a tree, without your phone, and remember what it really means to be safe and at home.