Frustrated dad and app creator Nick Herbert was sick of being ignored by his kid, so he came up with a simple but genius solution.
Any parent of young teens would be familiar with the pain this American dad was facing – his tween son was never detached from his new phone (which was, of course, just for emergencies), but wouldn’t ever bring himself to send a two-word response to a simple text message from his parents.
Fed up, Herbert decided to solve his own problem.
ReplyASAP (currently only available on Android, the iOS release isn’t far off) allows parents to disable the function of their kids’ phones until they write back.
The app also allows mums and dads to assert their authority by enabling an alarm if their child is still unresponsive.
Basically, the two functions mean that if a teen wants to use the phone or disable the alarm – which still works when the phone’s on silent – a reply is the only option.
“ReplyASAP makes messages unmissable between people that matter, since important messages shouldn’t be missed,” creator Nick Herbert told WISTV.
Critics say the app is “enabling abusive relationships,” which is certainly an important concern and a dangerous potential of this type of technology.
However, according to Herbert, the app can be deleted by either party – the idea is less about control and more about “encouraging positive communication to allow messages to get through when other methods fail.”
The parents and carers using ReplyASAP for its intended purpose are pleased with the results, and the app has had over 75,000 downloads since its release.