Life 360 Makes Life Easier

Anna Ho, Staff Writer

A teen will hear the name “Life 360” and feel one emotion: dread.

Word association is a powerful thing, but does the apprehension toward Life 360 go deeper than just preconceived notions?

Opponents of the app describe it as a sinister weapon utilized by distrusting and over-controlling parents to regulate every aspect of a teen’s life, stifling their independence.

At first glance, this imagery has valid foundations. Life 360 allows parents to locate their child’s phone at all times, and it has features that send push notifications when one is driving too fast, or their battery is low. For many, this is too big an invasion of privacy.

Overbearing parents are no new phenomenon. They have plagued the lives of teenagers for decades. A child will have their independence restricted from such parents no matter the technology in their lives. Life 360 is certainly an outlet for such parents, but it is not the main cause for boundary and privacy issues. As a result, these issues will not be eliminated by the removal of the app. They are the fault of misplaced care and stifling parenting practices that require deeper, more fundamental solutions. 

For the average Life 360 user, the app can be extremely useful. It is a tool that eases worries and gives parents and friends peace of mind. 

Life 360 boasts many features that promote and increase user safety. It includes 24/7 Emergency Dispatch and Roadside Assistance, which can give both parents and teens an added sense of safety once they begin driving.

Its main feature–the tracking feature–has a lot of useful applications. Not only does it allow parents to check their teens’ locations, eliminating the need for distracting and ominous “where are you?” texts, it also permits teens to keep up with both their friends and family. 

Often, teens may find their parents as busy as themselves, and it is convenient for them to easily check their locations. If one sees that their parent or sibling is near a grocery store, it is an added benefit to be able to ask them to pick something up. Teens tend to share locations amongst friend groups. This allows students to check up on their friends to see if they are busy with work or are running late.

The app eases common worries and stresses among parents and children alike, knowing that if loved ones fall into dangerous situations or become lost, they can be easily tracked. Life 360’s calming effect may even give some teens more freedom. Many parents lengthen curfews or increase freedoms when they have the assurance that they can check where their kids are.

Life 360 adds something to the lives of most modern families–comfort. The sense of security that comes with being able to locate your loved ones makes Life 360 worth the stress it may cause in some students with “helicopter” parents.