Growing up, I remember how easy and fun it was to go out, walk to the shops to get a snack or perhaps help mum with groceries. I also remember that if I wanted to go to the big, cool mall in town, I'd have to take a public bus. Forget about taxis, they were just too expensive. Even to this day! But I know I had fun, hopping on the bus, meeting my friends or an acquaintance at a random bus stop, and that sweet, sweet smell of 'kuih' and freedom.
10 years on and the landscape of that freedom has changed drastically. Parents I speak to these days are so afraid of letting their children go out on their own. 'Public transport?! Oh no, not my child!', is the usual answer I get; with parents rather taking time out of their work merely to send their kids to a mall or wherever it is they want to go. I found it a bit odd since not all of us have that luxury to just waltz out of work just to tend to their child. Parents would control where the kid wanted to go, who they could see, even to a point of deciding who their kid should befriend or stay away from. So it came as a shock to me when even my dad started keeping tabs on me, a 25-year-old working adult. So why have parents become so protective?
I've done some digging and here I present to you why parents in this era are so protective. I've also added some of my personal thoughts and experiences so you could have a personal reflection on yourself, whether you're a parent or a child.
It comes as no surprise that any parent would not want their child going out and about an area riddled with crime. These days, kidnappings, rape, murders and all sorts of debauchery flood our papers. You only need to check your local papers and news to see the nonsense that goes on in your area.
With high mortality rates due to crime, parents would prefer their kids to stay at home or have complete control of their child's whereabouts. One parent told me 'Id rather take time off my work to help my child than to take time off work to see them being buried'. That statement shook me to the core. Kids are the greatest gift a parent can ever receive and its no wonder they want to keep them safe and happy for as long as they live.
Even if the crime wasn't an issue, parents I've spoken to don't want to get that phone call saying their kid was in an accident. Or that their kid got knocked down done or injured on public transportation. Even I've seen news about a taxi driver attempting to rape someone. So I totally get where these parents are coming from. It's quite sad seeing that our world has become such where indoors is more attractive than the great outdoors.
So where do we go from here? Kids should be allowed to go out and play, to discover new things. But the threat of world looms on parents like a monsoon cloud. Well parents, don't fret, technology is stepping up where conventional methods of security fail.
In the same way that you can use tracking technology to locate your lost or stolen phone. Many companies are using similar technology to locate your kids.
Kids these days want the latest things. It's no different from before when they wanted a Gameboy or a Beyblade. Kids these days are fixated on their parent's phones; smartphones. But of course, you can't, or shouldn't give a smartphone this early. However, the new tech for kids to have is smartwatches. Most smartwatches require a phone to connect unless they come with cellular capabilities, which is basically the new trend in kid's technology. There are now smartwatches for kids so they can have fun while giving parents a sense of security. But how?
my first Fone S2 is a wristwatch that uses cellular functions to accurately send its location to its parent app, 'myFirst Fone'. When it comes to the GPS tracking on myFirst Fone, most GPS devices do not reflect properly under sheltered environment, but the S2 does even better here. myFirst Fone automatically searches for surrounding WiFi signals to acquire a location. Indoor location tracking is accurate to 10m. Best of all, these are done automatically without the need to log in to the WiFi signal. Location-based alerts notify you when your child crosses the designated safety zone. Notifications are sent to paired phone apps with a set GPS parameter. Keep your child within 200m to 2000m from the boundaries of your holiday home. Preset safety zones for your kids by highlighting geo-locations in the iOS or Android app.
But there's more! myFirst Fone is fully compatible with 3G SIM data for real-time video and voice calls. Receive and make calls between myFirst Fone and an Android or iOS smartphone. Connect with your kids anytime, anywhere.
And the most important feature I feel deserves a special space for is the one-touch SOS emergency alert.
The SOS button sends a 30 seconds sound clip with the location to the linked smartphones. Send distress signals through an integrated SOS button. Once activated, parents will receive an emergency location notification and 30 seconds live recording of the surrounding sounds. It is a reliable way to make sure your kids are safe at all times.
I personally think that this is the perfect piece of tech to combat the current safety problems mentioned above as well as satisfying your child's appetite for all things fun! It also provides parents with little bit of peace and confidence to let their kids go out.
To find out more about the myFirst Fone S2, click here.