Protect And Serve Your Own
I grew up -as we might say in New England- in a wicked safe neighborhood. I mean, I was a kid. It felt safe to me. And looking back, it was. It was the 80s. A group of us kids could get together and bounce around to each other’s house all day long. We'd play kickball at one house, have lunch at another and then ride our bikes up to the end of the road and over this big log on the edge of it to the convenience store. We’d buy some baseball cards and big league chew with the money we got from mowing lawns or washing mom and dad’s car. We could be hanging out all day long without any concern on the part of our parents. All the kids could play outside on a beautiful summer day, all day long, unattended, and it was totally safe. Today that same neighborhood may appear to be very similar. In many respects, it may still be, but with the advent of the internet and related technologies we’ve added a few dimensions and gone a little deeper into the rabbit hole. We didn’t lock the doors in my neighborhood, and I didn’t know anyone with a computer.
Many kids today have their own computers and smartphones. A computer and smartphone with an internet connection is a total game-changer. Every movement of a child carrying a smartphone is at risk of being tracked with the Location Services turned on. Location Services switched on tells the tracker (or hacker) where they’ve been, the route they took to get there and how long they were there. Apple says they store this information temporarily for them to better serve our needs as customers and assist in improving the product. However, more and more reports are coming out that these types of tracking abilities are being utilized by official channels like the National Security Agency. After all, their internal motto is Collect It All… In addition to that, there is always the threat of a hacker.
What is the purpose of all this data collection? Why is it necessary to have the ability to track everyone all the time? These are ideas that are imperative to explore further. This world is a beautiful place. In fact, it’s perfect. And there are, and always will be, people and subcultures that are working against the general public's best interest. Defending ourselves against those threats is a core purpose of this site. The kind of monitoring that is in place now though is very unsettling.
That can’t be the kind of world in which we want to raise our children. Of course, we are learning how to change it. At the same time, we need to learn how to work with the current circumstances. That is what clearing our tracks is all about. Be conscious of the tracks you make and the way you make ‘em. That’s a basic principle of life. These days, with computers and smartphones especially, be careful of who’s following the tracks you make. In fact, it may be better just to erase those tracks as much as you can. Even the most innocent child with a smartphone in their pocket, riding their bike around an otherwise friendly neighborhood is subject to potential harm. Let’s change that.
It’s up to us, the family. Protect and serve your own. The responsibility is too important to leave to the professionals.