Column: Sneaking off is a rite of passage that Generation Z types have been missing out on
and live on Freeview channel 276
This week there is one story that actually makes me think that the young people are getting it all wrong.
A study has found that Generation Z, the term for people born in the mid-90s and early 2000s, actually want their parents to track their location using their phones.
When I was growing up, if my parents put a GPS tracking device on me I’d have called Childline.
Some reported that being tracked made them feel less anxious. I can see how you might feel less anxious about getting lost but surely you’d feel more anxious about you never getting your first snog.
Sneaking off is a rite of passage. If I couldn’t sneak out, my teenage years would have been even more boring – and I did physics, chemistry and maths at school, so I was getting plenty of boring.
The app is called Life360. It sounds more like a prison sentence, which is fitting. Some criminals are forced to wear an ankle tag yet Gen Z kids are willingly downloading the app version onto their phones.
Some of the teens questioned in this study said they worried about their safety after seeing news coverage. Maybe we need to teach this in schools, the news isn’t a good representation of what real life is like. News collects the worst and most shocking stories in one place. Most things in life are boring and dull, which won’t be recorded in the news.
It’s easy to think that modern day kids are growing up in a more dangerous world but I’m not sure that’s true.
Of course you want people to be safe and being constantly geo-tracked could help that, but you lose the benefit of the freedom.
You could also avoid danger by locking yourself up in a basement but there comes a point where the prevention is the same as the danger you are trying to avoid.
There is a chance I’m worrying needlessly because there is another thing that Gen Z members are good at and that is IT.
If you struggle with anything technological a teenager will probably be able to help you out.
Maybe these teens are putting trackers on their phone and they know how to make it look like they’re not at a party.
Check out Steve’s podcast Steve N Allen Almost Daily.