Head to Head: Is Life360 beneficial?

 Life360. The app where someone can track friends or family with just the click of a button. Many families have been using this app for years, and while there may be plenty of benefits, the negatives are the first aspects that come to light.

The app is used as a live GPS that allows users to find whoever is in their “circle” whenever they want. While this can be beneficial, it makes me feel vulnerable in a way I don’t think is necessary.

I don’t mind using Life360. I’m not a kid that has things to hide. I don’t sneak out and I don’t go places I’m not supposed to. I even use the app with my friends and my boyfriend just for fun. But for some reason though, I’m not a fan of using it with my family. 

Sometimes, it can be nice. Knowing how long I have before my family gets home so I can wait as long as possible before I have to clean the house which gives me more time to do, well, anything else. 

I do think there are plenty of negatives to using this app with someone’s family. 

According to M-A Chronicle, many teenagers believe that Life360 ‘ruins’ their social life by taking away their privacy of location.” 

Saying this is going a bit far, but the statement makes sense. The app was made for parents or guardians to be able to track their children whenever they want. This can cause anxiety in kids who are simply trying to enjoy their teenage years.

While I am enjoying my teenage years, my parents already know where I am. When I ask to make plans with friends or my boyfriend, I tell them where we’re going and if anyone else is coming, which defeats the whole purpose of having Life360. 

The only thing that the verbal agreement of where a child is going doesn’t accomplish is their battery percentage. Life360 also lets everyone in the circle know what someone’s battery percentage is, and sends each person a notification when their battery reaches 10%. 

While this can be annoying, it did teach me the value in having my phone charged all the time. In an emergency, it’s always convenient to have a charged phone. Countless times I’ve been out with one of my friends and she’s had to use my phone because hers was dead. 

Life360 also records how fast someone is driving in real time. This can feel like an invasion of privacy, especially when someone’s parents like to keep tabs on their children at all times. 

When I started driving to the Indianapolis Zoo for work, my mom wanted to make sure I got there safely, so she would look at my location in case of an emergency. At first I was annoyed because I thought “There’s no reason you need to be looking at my location right now, I know how to get to the zoo.” My mom has since quit looking at my location while I go somewhere, but the concept still irks me. 

Although personally, I don’t mind the lack of privacy, it is still a huge concern for many people. There are several people who don’t want their parents knowing exactly where they are. Having this app that gives anyone with access the ability to view their location can cause children to become distant with their parents. 

The Snapper by Millesville says that apps like Life360 can make teenagers feel like they have to lie about their whereabouts to their parents, causing a rift between the bond between parents and their children. 

I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want to live in a world where my parents don’t trust me. I don’t want to have to go through an app that drives me and my parents away from each other, and I don’t think I should have to. Life360 is not a necessary software for teenagers.