Thursday, August 26, 2010

Child Safety & Technology - Cell Phone Texting and Driving Can Now Be Stopped

Where do you draw the line between protecting your child and giving them privacy and freedom? How do you control the use of your child's cell phone?

This blog entry is being driven by a new article I am researching for a work website. I've known that this cell phone tracking/managing technology was coming for a while, and I have been drooling to hear which side of the privacy issue people will sit on. Me?

FACT: Every year texting and driving injures 2X more teens

FACT: 25% of fatal car accidents involve a cell phone

FACT: 20% of teens admit to texting nude pictures of themselves

Folks, let me start by saying that I would probably chip my kid - that's right, like you can chip a dog - if they'd let me. I know, I know that sounds terrible. I'd let him turn it off when he was 18 or 30, or something. Nobody wants the villains to know (which of course they would) that your kid is traceable and try to carve out the chip and cause them harm... you can see I've thought about this. It's would be a tough choice. But we can't do that - well, now we kinda can. Read on.

Here's the deal - for $10 per month, parents can now STOP TEENS from TEXTING and DRIVING. This CellSafety* technology apparently SHUTS OFF the phone if it senses movement while your teenager is driving (or in a moving vehicle). It has a SPEED ALERT (and you are notified immediately).

There's more. Using keyword technology (same as other web safety services that are in the marketplace), it can tell if teens are texting about nudity, cyber bullying, guns, suicide, porn. You can block texting in certain areas (like the classroom). Last but certainly not least (and here's where there might be more on that 'chipping' debate), it uses GPS technology to tell you where your kids are, and where they have been.

Thing is fellow superheroes, there are sick bastards/villains in this world that want to harm my child and I know how easy it will be for them to find him. Particularly now that kids are plugged in all the time. Imagine what the future will look like? Nobody likes to hear about those Amber alerts. So if you could buy some extra time, find them faster - would you? What if you could teach teens that what they are doing is putting them in harm's way in real-time?

Spousal Disagreement!
My husband and I completely disagree on this issue. He hates when I mention the "chipping" idea. Probably because (shut your eyes mama-in-law) his parents would have locked him up if they knew half the things he got away with. Yes, I know that we have to let our kids learn a lot on their own. He believes that sometimes you just have to 'let them fall'. And so do I to a certain extent (see last blog entry). My husband survived all the craziness, and so did my brother. But I think they GOT LUCKY. Don't get me wrong, that GPS technology would have probably kept me out of by high school bo's house many a nights!!!! Or not? ;-)

So, how DO YOU manage your teenager's cell phone (and internet) use and will you start taking advantage of child safety technology as it enters the marketplace? I am very curious about your points of view on this. Please comment!

*NOTE: TBrightgeist Media (company I run) WILL BE PAID if you sign up for this offer. That's how I found out this product was coming into the marketplace. This isn't a pitch for the product. I am writing about this because I think its important,. I just like to be transparent when there is any financial gain (even when it's not directly to me) on product links or offers. They also offer a very good WEB SAFETY product that provides similar controls. Ditto on the financial gain thing.

I'll publish the when we finish it. Follow on Facebook for other accident safety articles. Yep, THAT was a shameless plug!


  1. I didn't know that texting kills more teens than drinking. Maybe MADD should create MATT-- Mothers against Texting Teens!

  2. okay I love the cell safety technology but I also think it should be done to every cell phone not just the ones teens use. we aren't the only ones txting out there. frankly most of my friends would get on my case if they saw me txting will driving. the chip idea I think it's a bit ridiculous. honestly you have to give your children a little breathing room. I understand if they are below the age of 15 and you are worried that they could be in danger. but I think the best and worst times of my life happened when my parents didn't know where i was. in my case I can't be myself when my parents know where I am. they just need to trust I won't get in trouble and if I do they know that the raised me to be a good girl.

  3. I like all kinds of chips. Potatoe chips, corn chips, apple chips, wood chips (good for smoking meats) and that includes implanted GPS chips into my kid. The reason is simple, if something happens and you can find your kid, you will most likely find the sick person that took him/her and get the opportunity to crush that person.

  4. I am a parent whose three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting mom last fall, and subsequently I plunged into the text and drive landscape.

    I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple app for smartphones - low cost, no recurring fees. I think if we can empower the individual (and parents) then change will come to our highways now and not just to our laws. If it is OK with this forum, there are a couple of links below that provide more information about our efforts on this issue.

    Erik Wood, owner

  5. What a great blog you have here, I really like the concept of "justlikesuperheroes". I do feel like we as parents have to be superheroes and constantly vigilant in the protection of our children. Technology has made it easier for bad guys to find ways to connect with our unsuspecting children. This is an excellent post.. I think my cell phone offers a service that allows me to know where my kids phones (are at all time by acting as a gps agent). I like this ideas and don't mind using it. My husband grew up in a big city and learned about the bad guys earlier than i did but throughout life it didn't take me long to learn about what can happen. Just watch some of those true stories on tv and see what lengths predators will go through to cause harm to our children. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm following you now as well. Eric Hsu is great resource for up to date information/safety on protecting our children. Thanks for visiting..…-expert-speaks/