Parents of teens know that cell phones can be a great way to keep in touch when their kids are out and about. That is, unless they get distracted and “forget” to respond, which leaves you in a state of panic. Luckily, one dad is here to help.
Nick Herbert created the app ReplyASAP after getting fed up with his son Ben ignoring his texts. The app takes over the phone’s screen and sounds an alarm, essentially forcing teens to respond to their worrisome parents if they want to regain access to their phone. The app also notifies parents when their adolescent has seen their message.
“My son has an iPhone, but I still can’t get hold of him very easily as it’s always on silent because he is planning games or has been at school and forgotten to turn the sound back on,” he explained to GoodHousekeeping.com.
“There didn’t seem to be a solution out there that allowed me to send a message to him, that would override the silent function, appear over whatever he was doing and tell me when he had seen it.”
To solve his problem, Herbert took to creating the app and his son was surprisingly accepting of his dad’s invention. “It gives him the freedom to keep his phone on silent, but with the knowledge that I can get a message to him if necessary,” Herbert said. “He knows when to use it and when I send him a message on it, it will be important.”
While most settings and apps can’t freeze a phone like ReplyASAP does, our experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute pointed out that Ignore No More is an iOS app that allows you to remotely lock your child’s device if they are not responding to you.
In addition, iPhone’s Emergency Bypass setting will trigger your phone to make a sound any time a specific person try to get in touch with you, and if your child toggles on their “read receipts” setting, you can receive a timestamp underneath the text when they opened your message.
There are also external apps that you can download for both iPhone and Android that will override silent mode. Just be sure to read the fine print. Some of these programs require you to “jailbreak” your phone, which can void any warranties or insurance you may have.
Whether you’re on board with these apps’ concepts or not, every parents can recognize that raising kids in the digital age we live in can get tricky. What’s most important is that parents establish a relationship with their children based on independence and trust — a concept that most moms and dads can get around.
ReplyASAP is currently available for Android in the United States and Herbert has plans to release the app on iOS shortly. His son is currently using a test version of the app on his iPhone.