Big Mother is Watching!
A friend was recently telling me about her daycare center in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Yes, she likes the teachers, the healthy snacks, and of course, all of the toys, but what she loves most is one particular feature: The center has a web cam that lets parents spy on their kidsÃ¢â‚¬â€and their caretakersÃ¢â‚¬â€during the day. Much as I would love a few doses of Owen between meetings, my center doesn’t offer such techy accoutrements and so in old-fashion style, I just ask Owen’s teachers for a recap of their time together at the end of the day. Our conversation got me thinking, though. Now with so much technology at our disposal, it’s so easy to spy on our kids and see exactly the kind of care they get when we’re not around. New York Magazine ran a story last year on gadgets for paranoid parentsÃ¢â‚¬â€outsmart your nanny and send her to the playground with a GPS chip hidden in her diaper bag! Another friend introduced me to a website: isawyournanny.blogspot.com. Here, people blog about what they see your nanny do during the day (“She turned her back on your child at the bus stop for a second but then was very caring when she turned back around.”) It’s enough to make a working motherÃ¢â‚¬â€or any mom who needs the occasional babysitterÃ¢â‚¬â€throw up. My question, I guess, is does all this technology help us or hurt us when it comes to our kids? And what does it say about our parenting? If I ever felt that Owen’s nanny was such a flight-risk that she required a GPS chip, for example, you can be sure I’d find another nanny. Is technology keeping us in touch? Making us more trusting? Or, is it just bringing out the paranoia is all of us?