Hi Readers! As you probably know, for years you could buy an invisible electric fence to keep your pets in the yard. But now you can use one when you’re camping, too, to make sure your kids never wander off, thanks to a new device called the Camp Guard. According to an article in the Herald Journal in Logan, Utah:
“The Camp Guard [is]a wireless perimeter security system that alerts campers of animals entering their campsite or kids wandering away. When the perimeter is breached, an alarm goes off, lights flash or both.
“The real value of the product is in child security,” [inventor Glenn] Whichard explained. “You can easily create a perimeter at the playground, or the lake, or your campsite, and the Camp Guard will alert you when your children wander outside the designated area.”
Not that there isn’t something vaguely sensible about this idea. I know there is. I, too, am scared of kids wandering off into the lake, by themselves. I’m also not a big fan of bears, though simply being alerted to the fact one was moseying near my tent wouldn’t give me a whole lot of options beyond, “Commence speechless terror.”
No, what’s disturbing about this product is what I”m going to call “security creep”: The idea that whenever and wherever we go, we can and should be busy protecting our children with security systems, be it an alarm that beeps when they wander a few yards off at the mall, or a GPS in their backpack when they leave for school or, now, an electric fence between them and the world.
We are burdening ourselves with the notion that our kids are at high risk every second of the day — so high that we’re coming to believe any “good” parent should be protecting them the way the Secret Service protects the President.
I agree that every child is as precious as the President. I disagree that they are in the same kind of immediate, red alert, secure-the-perimeters peril. Especially if they’re not alone in a tent with a jar of honey and a pound of chuck. — Lenore