Hi Readers — Just got alerted to this ad and service, BeenVerified.com. It allows you to do a background check on anyone, from the comfort of your own home. Check the guy you met online, check your mortgage broker (make sure it’s not Alan Greenspan), check your electrician — yes, a guy on the ad says he’s going to do just that. And of course, check anyone AT ALL who ever has ANYTHING to do with your kids. As the pregnant lady in this spot says, “No stranger comes around MY growing family without a background check.”
Really? Not the UPS guy or waitress at TGIF’s? Not the soccer coach or piano teacher or kid selling Girl Scout Cookies? (Can’t be too careful!)
The idea, of course, is that if you are not constantly background-checking, you are a sap. In this world view — which I worry is spreading like a fungus — everyone is evil until proven otherwise. That is not only wrong, it leads to the breakdown of community (I look out for you, you look out for me) that actually makes us SAFER.
And while we’re on the topic of what now constitutes “rational” precaution, another product on the horizon is a kiddie watch or backpack tag or some-such small device that not only tracks the child via GPS (how 2009!), it will also text the parent every time the child enters or leaves a designated area. A park, say. Or the front yard. The assumption being that not only are all strangers dangerous but so is the world beyond the fence — a world no child should explore.
What are we bequeathing our kids? Distrust. Xenophobia. And the idea that curiosity = death. Ah, those golden childhood years! — Lenore