The new "Uber for kids" app gets a resounding, Hell No.

Thursday, October 30, 2014



But, I say, this is genius.

What? Like you've never had a scheduling conflict before with your kid's various activities?

The new app called, Shuddle, is designed to pick up your child and bring them to their extra-curricular activities when you can't.  Or when, gawd forbid, you just want a damn break from being a chauffeur.

Many parents on social media have been asked if they'd use Shuddle and there's been a resounding, "Hell no." And "Absolutely not."

Here's a quick rundown of how the app works.  You call the company and schedule the ride.  Parents use their credit cards to pay for the service (so your kid isn't walking around with a wad of cash), and they give you a secret passcode to use when the driver arrives.  Only the driver, you and the child knows the passcode - to ensure the driver is legit.  You can GPS track the ride on your phone in real-time.

The drivers go through background checks, They go through face-to-face interviews.  And they have to present two employment references.  Their vehicles also have to meet Shuddle's standards: no more than 10 years old, inspections up to date, insurance, etc.

The company only hires women, who have children, or who have worked with children before.  And the drivers go through Shuddle training.

You could compare the service to a school bus - minus, the 20 other children distracting the driver.

You could say it's safer than putting your kid on public transportation - where several random adults are interacting with your child.

It'd be safer than relying on a "carpool club", where several parents of children in the same activity share the responsibilities of driving the kids to practice.  a.) I bet you didn't ask the other parents for their driving records - you're just trusting them b.) it's un-reliable - if little 'Mary' gets sick, and her mom is on carpool duty that week, you think that mom is gonna go around picking up all the little brats for gymnastics practice? No, she'll be home tending to her sick kid, and you're kid will be fucked out of gymnastics.

And lastly, Shuddle might even be safer than you driving your own damn kids! Let me explain before you think I'm crazy.  How safe do you think you are really driving when you are rushing like a mad person, speeding, running red lights, all in the name of getting this one to soccer practice on time? And the other one to tutoring? And the other one to dance? (gawd save the parents with 3 + children) It's not safe at all.  Throw in a screaming baby in the backseat of your mini van and you're fucked!

My personal note to parents with 3 or more kids - I don't know how you do it.  If I see you out at a bar or restaurant some day - have a drink on me please.

So what's so bad about this app?  It seems like a better option than all of the above.  It seems to have the proper safety features, the right insurance, and the right idea.

Or maybe, just maybe this speaks volumes about what's going on in our society and our children.  The fact that this app was even created.  Maybe our kids are over-involved?  Maybe they don't need to be in so many damn things.  Activities.  Always busy.  Always doing.  There's a value in free time too.  If you feel busied, harried and hectic by all of the bullshit going on in your family's life - I bet your kids feel it too.  They could be craving a less structured life too.  A balance.

Something worth examining, especially with apps like Shuddle coming down the road.






No comments:

Post a Comment

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs