Do You Kiddie Cam?
Okay, it's Friday! Here's a light subject with a potential dark side, perfect for our Friday Free-For-All.
Busy moms, dads and pet owners everywhere: There's a new and improved way to connect with your "children" (two or four pawed) with an easy-to-use, inexpensive tool: The "kiddie cam." You set up a Web cam with a live Internet feed on your home computer and presto! You can see and talk to your family while at the office or on the road or even at the gym! Free Internet services like Skype and a variety of Web cam software make all this easier, more affordable, immediate and interactive than traditional Nannycams.
Now, in the interest of candor, I do not kiddie-cam. The last thing I want to know is what my children, now ages 10, 9 and 5, are actually doing to my home and each other when I'm not there. I have considered paying them not to call me on my cellphone with minute-by-minute updates (the record to date is eight calls from home in 20 minutes). But if my kids were younger, or if I traveled a lot, this would be a wonderful way to connect -- and tales like this recent one on CNN.com that shows a mom with twin preemies whose camera revealed her nanny's neglect makes me rejoice that the technology exists.
Here is the dark side: No one needs to actually answer your call when you call. You control when you make the virtual connection. Now this is perfect for taking a peek at a napping newborn or teaching your parrot how to imitate your boss, but it is also perfect for spying on your child-care giver or perhaps, your teenage daughter and her study partner-um-boyfriend. Obvious ethical questions arise.
So do you kiddie-cam? Have you ever been caught on a kiddie-cam? What are the pros and cons to this brave new technology?
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