On Christmas Eve excited little kids constantly ask their parents to check the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s widely popular Santa Tracker website- a 3D map tracking Santa’s rounds in real time. Recently, NORAD has decided to map the paths of war planes alongside Santa’s flight.
Josh Golin, associated director of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, disapproves of the new addition to the site.
“It’s a backdoor way of marketing to kids when [the Army is] not supposed to be recruiting until they’re older,” he stated in a press release.
Despite the backlash Captain Jeff Davis, spokesman for the US Navy, still supports the war plane maps.
“We wanted to let folks know that, hey, this is a NORAD video, and we’re the military, and this is our mission,” replied Davis.
Personally, I don’t believe the military and NORAD is using the appearance of war planes as a “backdoor way of marketing to kids” to join the military, it’s simply an interesting tidbit that adds to the character of the website. And it’s NORAD’s website, why shouldn’t they be able to showcase their achievements and what they do for North America on a daily basis? Kids all over the world access the website. Some kid in Egypt isn’t going to be persuaded to join the US Military by seeing some war planes flying around alongside Santa on a digital tracker. Nor is any kid even in the US going to be hypnotized into enlisting by seeing war planes one day a year for maybe 12 years of their lives.
Parents shouldn’t see the addition as some attempt to exploit their children, but as an effect that makes the tracker seem more realistic for their Santa-believing kids. And isn’t that what every parent wants? To give their child an authentic Christmas experience they’ll always remember even after they’re done believing in Santa.
Golin was overanalyzing something as simple as the addition of war planes on the website. The Santa Tracker designers from NORAD aren’t trying to commercialize America’s children nor are they trying to recruit kids. The kids of North America are whose future NORAD protects.
Check out the tracker at: http://www.noradsanta.org/
This article was originally posted by Newsbytes Online.