Life sentence 360


photo by Hayden Turner

Life360 gives the option to turn off your location, however your icon will no longer appear on the map which will indicate that you turned it off to the people in your circle.

Dropping off my boyfriend at his house, I turned off my location fearing that my parents were watching me. Within the span of five minutes, my dad’s name pops up on my phone screen with the most terrifying three words: “Where are you?”

How far can location tracking go until teenagers feel like their parents simply do not trust them? As a victim of the popular app Life360, when my parents gave me the ultimatum of downloading the app to monitor my every move, it made me feel that they did not trust me, and for no reason.

Life360 is a location-sharing app aimed at parents who wish to track their kids’ whereabouts in real time. This app includes additional features, such as how fast a family member is driving and even their battery percentage.

It is fully okay for parents to want to have their teen’s location through the “Find My iPhone,” because it is understandable that they want to make sure they are safe. But Life360 takes it to another level, and not a good one.

I do not get into much trouble, but I find myself on my toes everywhere I go, afraid that I am going to make a simple mistake. If I go five miles above the speed limit, will my parents completely flip out on me? I go out with friends and I find myself worrying if my parents are tracking me instead of enjoying myself on a Friday night.

I understand parents’ concern on safety and, in fact, I use the app to track my parents to make sure they are safe. Home alone late at night, I decided to open up the app to see where everyone was. I saw both my parents were at a house that I did not recognize so I texted them asking the exact question my dad texted me: “Where are you?”

Life360 does offer teens some privileges, though. I have been able to ask my parents to do things that I was not allowed to do before, justifying my reasoning with “You can track me now” and getting the okay to go ahead.

While in a weird way, this app has given me a bit more freedom, I still feel restrained. It is like a tug of war, especially since my parents tell me they trust me but then continue to track me as I drive home from school.

On TikTok, a summer outbreak of memes using the hashtag #Life360 were viewed over 13 million times, so this situation is relatable.

I feel restricted, I feel untrustworthy and now I feel like I must sneak around, and I am not the only one.

Sharing location on the regular features offered on Apple devices are fine. Forcing teens to download Life360 and watching their every move is taking it way too far, especially if we have done nothing to prove otherwise.