Disney's Latest MVNO Perfect For Paranoid Parents

from the Mickey-Mouse-is-working-for-your-parents dept

Last summer, when Disney announced plans for a Disney-branded mobile phone service (MVNO), we wondered if there would be some backlash for targeting children at a young age -- when there's some controversy over how young is too young for a mobile phone. What we didn't realize is that Disney's MVNO wouldn't be targeted at children, but at parents. In fact, it almost sounds like the type of mobile phone that many kids will hate, rather than enjoy. The service allows parents to act as a manager for their kids mobile phone usage -- setting specific time limits for usage, for example. It also includes child tracking features that are likely to get most of the attention. While there will be plenty of talk about how these offerings are designed to protect children, we've pointed out plenty of downsides as well. Often they just give parents a false sense of security, while giving the parents an excuse not to teach their kids how to deal with complex situations. With the tracking, in particular, many kids are smart enough to figure out ways around the system. On top of that, they're taught that their parents don't trust them, which is a great foundation for a relationship. Yes, there are some safety aspects to such systems, but too many parents will look at such tools as an alternative to actually teaching their kids how to stay safe or how to manage their time on the phone more effectively. It may be a huge success, but it's not clear that it really makes anyone any safer in the long run.
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  1. identicon
    dani, 5 Apr 2006 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Trust

    What kind of role-model, loving parent goes around name-calling?

    My parents used to roll by whatever place I was supposed to be at...a good parent will 'check-up' on their kids, not because of lack of trust, but because they're KIDS. Even if u do an absolutely perfect job raising them, they're gonna do things they're not supposed to do. Taking the time to check up (spy) on your kids is part of your job if you really want to keep them safe and teach them right from wrong.

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