Dad invents app that leaves kids with no choice but to phone their parents back
There are a lot of stresses that come from being a parent, and it doesn't necessarily get any easier once your child gets older. Sure, they become more independent and capable of looking after themselves, but at the same time the increased freedom they attain can lead to more worries for any parent keeping an eye out for danger.
One thing that has changed over the years is that now kids growing up are wanting their own cell phones - and as times go on, they seem to be getting them earlier and earlier. While most of them just want to mess around on their freemium games or send Snapchats to their friends (is that still a thing?), the upside for parents is that you've now got a way to contact them when they're away from home.
However, that doesn't mean they're always going to pick up when their parents ring. It could be that they don't want to answer right now and are pretending they missed the call, or they're simply too busy with their mates that they'll happily ignore it entirely. For teenagers, this is just going to happen even more, leading to a lot of exasperation from parents who want to know whether they're safe or tell them some important information.
Nick Herbert came up with a solution to this problem, in the form of an app named 'ReplyASAP'. Once set up on the child's phone, the app renders their phone unusable, freezing it from all functions... until they return the call to their parents. It will interrupt anything they're currently doing, and will make constant sound until it's answered - even if they have their phones on silent.
Knowing how often people use their phones - this will probably get some kids to call back immediately.
Launched in August 2017, ReplyASAP has been installed over 75k times and is still being updated to this day. The reviews are a mix of those who think it worked really well, and others who think it's an excuse to get out of good parenting.
"This is the opposite of good parenting," one reviewer wrote, while another said: "please remove this app. I can ASSURE you abusive and controlling significant others will utilize this this is overall a horrible idea. teach your child to respect you enough to call you, dont let others suffer because you cant be a decent parent."
According to the creator, who spoke to PureWow, his app makes texts “unmissable between people that matter, since important messages shouldn’t be missed," but there are a few downsides. For one, it's only available to Android users, and while it's free to download - if you want to unlock full functionality (including adding more than one contact) you have to shell out more money.
Personally, this never would've worked with my parents. My dad butt dials me so much that he'd be freezing my phone all the time. Although I guess that might mean I'd go outside and play a little more instead of staring at a screen.