An interesting conversation has come up several times recently with friends and family members, and I was wondering what my blogging friends thought.

Is it okay to track the locations of your family members by their phone?

Our family uses Life 360, an app that lets you locate the members in your circle. My husband and I are in the circle, along with my daughters, and we added our German daughter as soon as she arrived. Bob reports that some of his co-workers who have seen him using the app thought it was “invasive” and “a little creepy.” A family friend said that he had qualms about using the app with his college-age daughters, but eventually decided in favor of it. My sister, meanwhile, said, “What’s the name of the app? I’m signing up!”

Life 360

We use the app daily to answer such critical questions as:

  • Did Gabbey leave work yet?
  • Is Gina’s band bus on the way home from their competition?
  • Has Bob left for the airport, or is he still at work?
  • How long till Dianne gets home so Bob knows when to have the cold martini ready?

Checking the app for someone’s location is safer than calling or texting them while they’re driving. Gabbey and Gina aren’t allowed to have their phones with them at work or band practice, so if you text them, they can’t answer.ย And although we might ask the girls to “text us when you get there,” they sometimes forget.

The only time I felt the slightest qualm about using the app was when Gabbey went away to college, and then it did feel a little like spying on her. I asked her about it, and she just shrugged. “I don’t care. Where am I going to be that I don’t want you to see?” I’m glad she feels that way. If she’s going to be taking a bus to the airport every time she comes home from school, it will ease our minds if we can track her progress.

What do you think? Is a family tracking app a technological blessing — or, as my husband’s co-worker called it, “creepy?”