I have reached the point of my life where half my life has been in a major city (Chicago Illinois, Bangkok Thailand, Cincinnati Ohio, Indianapolis Indiana and the Washington DC area. The other half my life was spent in a more rural location, Bloomington Indiana. When I was young after moving to Indiana I enjoyed the freedom of getting up at 7 am in the summer and being outside. Either in Bloomington or visiting my Grandparents in Wisconsin. I would and could be outside whenever I wanted to be. That is different not only for kids today but for parents as well.
It is why I love GPS’s and maps. It’s a little harder to read a GPS plot on the ocean or large lake, but you can learn. Knowing where you are in relation to where you are going is important. Early in my consulting career I used to carry a portable GPS with me. 10 car rentals paid for the device (rather than renting a less reliable GPS from the car rental place), Why? Because it is disconcerting to have to stop and read printed directions when you are in a new or unfamiliar place. In fact, depending on the highway it can be dangerous to stop.
When you live in a large city the GPS function of your car and phone get used all the time. I can tell you the best route from Maryland to Virginia depending on where you want to end up and the time of day you are leaving. GPS systems in your car today are connected to traffic systems so they can automatically reroute you to the least traffic congested way. Unless you are taking a route that only has one bridge over major water then you are well, screwed.
All of this leading to some of the new technology parents have at their disposal. The ability to say “where’s Johnny?” and simply connect to an app on your phone that tells you exactly where Johnny is. It kind of destroys the old game Hide and Seek. There is no longer a need to scream Ollie, Ollie, in come free. You open your phone and one by one find the hidden children. Simple. Easy. No longer a game simply improving your skills at reading a map. You can tap into video feeds in your home and in your yard. Watch Johnny playing.
The modern concept becoming the hovering Helicopter parent. Always just out of range, but always there. I can understand that. I felt the same way when my kids were little. They are a precious gift.
Two of our dogs have chips in their shoulders. That way if somehow we were separated from them, scanning the chip tells you where they live and they can be brought back to us. Not that either would stray far from us, they like the meal schedule. But the painless safety and security offered by that chip is reassuring.
Not that I am advocating chipping children. That would go horribly wrong in more ways than I would care to even talk about. Just that it is a different world. So growing up in a rural environment I was outdoors a lot as a child. We dug forts and played games outdoors from dawn to dusk.
Now you have to worry. So you get a GPS chip and put one in every single garment your child has. Yes, the shedding of parent mandated coats still happens today just like when I was little. So you put tags on more than just their coats. You know that coat is coming off.