Have you ever wondered how your parents managed to keep track of you as a teenager?
Back in my day, pre-mobile phones, I’d let my parents know where I was going as I left and on the odd occasions I missed the bus or taxi home, I’d phone the house, from a public telephone with the spare phone change I always tried to keep for a lift home. It’s hard to imagine that was the only contact your kids could be having with you. Everything else left to chance.
I’m well aware of how different being a mum is nowadays though. My boys are good lads as teenagers go. I trust them to make sensible decisions. That said, I still like to know where they are, who they’re with and when they’ll be home.
When they’re late, I call them.
If I can’t get hold of them I check all’s ok via the location tracker on Snapchat. Simples.
This doesn’t go so much for my 18-year-old, he’s pretty much free rein. I check in to see if he’s back for dinner and whether he’s home but for my 14-year-old Ky, it’s a different matter. When he’s on sleepovers I ask for friends mobile numbers just in case his phone battery dies. I always have a backup plan acquired from hiccups in the past.
Many a time he’s been asked to check in to let me know everything’s ok, and many a time he’s not replied and I’ve started to panic, which swung my decision to test out the new POM safety app. (btw, it’s downloadable from App Store)
It’s not some cringey stalker style checking up on their every move. I’m a big supporter of teenagers needing their privacy, but that privacy comes with boundaries. Take the POM safe zone feature for example (I’m jumping ahead here, I know, I’ll give a better run down in a mo.) You add your children into a group once you’ve downloaded and set up your profile. The members are sent a link with a code to add themselves to the group and from there you create safe zones for each person.
My guys have theirs set up as home, school and friends houses using a pin drop map feature. Once they have left these safe zones, you get a notification. If it’s something you’re concerned about you can send a check in request to let you know everything’s ok. They also have the option to send a message if they’re in danger along with their location. I think this is a really good option for alerting about dangers, if they’re in a situation where they don’t want to be actively seen messaging for help, the POM has an option to quickly
When creating a SafeZone, an inactivity timer or a check in schedule you can be sure that your location is completely private until something goes wrong. At that point, we’ll notify your SafeGroup that something’s not right so they can take action. As soon as you return to safety your location becomes private again.
From within the Safe group click “Check-In” at the top of the list of members. Here you can select from a predefined list of check-in messages or write a custom message to share with your group. All group members will be sent a notification as soon as you click OK.
To initiate a one-off Check-in request simply select the member from the group list, scroll down to the bottom of their user detail screen and click “Request Immediate Check-In”
The user will receive a notification informing them that you have requested that they Check-In.
If they fail to respond to the Check-In request after 15 minutes their status will change to “Red” and all group members will be notified. If they do Check-In within 15 minutes they will remain green and all users will be notified when they Check-in.
It’s not just for kids though, you can also use POM for a friend or partner as allows you to keep track of your loved one’s safety without compromising their privacy. I like that it’s more about safety than checking up on your loved ones. It could be a friend who uses online dating, or like my boyfriend who often goes running alone. On the flipside, I’d be much happier going out for a run knowing I have the safety of someone being able to check that I’m back ok without having to remember to send a message of where I am or if I’m home.
Our unique activity monitor and geofencing technology will automatically let your family and loved ones know if you’ve gone off track while exploring the great outdoors.
Plus, as I work alone from home, this coming soon feature will be perfect;
Get alerts when your loved-one’s phone doesn’t move for a pre-agreed time. See their location until they are re-mobilised. Ideal for lone sports or lone workers.
I guess it’s not so much about helicopter parenting.
It’s more like having a safety support net ticking along in the background.
It’s where they aren’t getting bugged by “everything ok?” messages from me, and I can relax knowing I’ll get a notification if they’re not ok.
And it’s also an app where I can feel a little safer.
Yeah, I like it.
This is a collaborative post