It locks the phone until they reply to dad’s message
One of the reasons parents give their kids cell phones is so they can check in on them. Unfortunately, teens aren’t always as conscientious and responsive as parents would like them to be.
One dad is forcing the issue with a new app.
The United Kingdom’s Metro has the story of Nick Herbert, who was sick and tired of his son Ben ignoring his texts, so he did something about it.
That something? Creating a smartphone app that forces the issue by locking his son’s phone until he replies.
The app, ReplyASAP, also sounds an alarm and takes over the phone’s screen, all but ensuring that any call-screening, potentially misbehaving teens have no choice but to answer, because they certainly can’t deal with not having access to their phones.
“He is always playing games and has the phone on silent. It drives me crazy,” the frustrated father said.
In order to preserve his sanity, Nick devised the app, which also alerts parents when their child has seen their message.
Herbert says, “It will alleviate the stress when I can’t get hold of him as I will know that he has seen my message.”
Herbert admits that he initially thought that giving his son a smartphone would make for better communication. “My son started at school a couple of years ago and got a smartphone…I thought this would make getting hold of him easier, but it doesn’t at all,” he told Metro.
Extreme Nelson from The Simpsons voice: HAHA!
Raising teenagers has never been easy, and with the advent of smart phones and social media, there are more pitfalls than ever. On the surface, this app seems like a good idea. But does forcing your children to be available and responsive at all times really improve things?
Two key aspects of a healthy parent-child relationship are independence and trust, and we’re not sure where ReplyASAP app falls on the trust spectrum.
Herbert told Scary Mommy, “I hope that it helps improve communication between parents and children and anyone else who uses it, and makes people feel more comfortable that they have this messaging service.”
As our children get older, our control over them decreases while our anxiety over their well-being grows, exponentially. Technology allows us to be in touch at all times, and it’s created an unhealthy expectation for an instant response. But perhaps a digital leash of sorts isn’t the solution.
Sure, your kid might respond immediately, but odds are he’ll chafe against it, and grow to resent the surveillance. And that’s only until he finds a way around it, which, digital age or not, teenagers always do, the resourceful jerks.
Kudos to this dad for inventing an app that will likely speak to parents everywhere, but we think we’d rather give our kids a chance before punishing them.
Then when we punish them later it will be much more satisfying.