Valdosta Daily Times

Community News Network

December 25, 2013

Americans uneasy about surveillance but often use snooping tools

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Some of those who decide not to monitor family members argue that using such technologies undermines trust, effectively declaring that ordinary human connections are insufficient.

Jessica Beliveau, a junior at Broad Run High School and Julie Beliveau's niece, said she appreciates her mother Lynne's decision not to track her whereabouts. "I feel there should be some things that parents don't necessarily know," Jessica said. "And anyway, in the past, before all this technology, most kids turned out just fine."

But many parents say they would be shirking their responsibility if they did not take advantage of available technology to monitor their children's online behavior.

One mother in Ashburn who asked not to be named, to avoid embarrassing her child, said she and her husband read through their middle-school-age daughter's Facebook chat transcripts and discovered that boys had been pressuring her to send revealing photos of herself. The parents intervened and prevented a sexting incident; now, a few years later, they have decided not to monitor their daughter's Facebook account, to teach her the benefits of trust.

The struggle over just how much to watch varies from family to family, and no clear guidelines have emerged, according to school counselors. Some teens are now being monitored not only by parents but also by their schools, a few thousand of which have contracted with a California company, Geo Listening, to sift through students' social-media postings to look for potentially dangerous situations.

As attitudes shift, businesses keep coming up with new ways for consumers to keep tabs on relatives, friends and colleagues.

Although The Washington Post's poll found that only 6 percent of those surveyed use "granny cams" to monitor elderly relatives, market research indicates that the popularity of such products is likely to grow sharply. Life360, an app that allows families or friends to share their locations on their phones, has been downloaded more than 60 million times. "More children than adults say they feel safer" when their location is being monitored, said Amanda Zweerink, a Life360 vice president.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results