We live in a knowledge driven world. And although, the level of communication and knowledge available in this century could only be imagined long ago, we have gotten so used to knowledge that we can’t do without it. For instance, in the days when letters were the only means of communication, people would send letters and not expect to get response until days or weeks (or even months) have passed. But, the situation have changed SBD with the change came some degree of impatience. Right now, if you send someone an email, you would be looking back your mail box an hour later, expecting a reply… you’re likely to even get frustrated when the person on the other end hasn’t replied.
But there is a good side to this. The advent of technology and internet have incredibly helped in urgent situations that require immediate attention. It was the need for immediate attention that made UK based product manager, Nick Herbert to create an app that will literally force his 13-year-old to respond to his SMS and phone calls. Once the app is installed, it will be able to take note of text messages entering the phone. The app functions like an alarm. Once a text message enters the phone, it will begin to buzz, and only two options would be displayed on the screen: the option for snooze and the option to cancel. The person on the other end would be notified about whichever option you decide to click. The phone cannot be used when the app is buzzing because you can’t click anything except the the options available. If you really don’t like to reply the other person, you could put off your phone or put it on silence. That was what Nick’s son did occasionally – he silenced his phone.
The app didn’t just end up for family use. It was uploaded on Google play store as ReplyASAP, and it is still available for free download. However, the user will have to pay a small fee if he decides to connect it with more than one person. As at 2017, the app had over 70,000 downloads, and this is despite having mixed views. Some people liked the application and even commended Nick for his creativity, while others (most of them were parents) think that the app would make people manipulative and overcontrolling. To these people, children should be given proper home training and taught how to respect adults. If any parent successfully does this, there wouldn’t be any need for applications like ReplyASAP.
One of the reviews on Google play store bordered around this point. Nick replied the comment, and (among other things), said that the app cannot be installed without consent of both parties. Which technically rules out the idea of it being used to manipulate people. In fact, the reason the app was created was to get kids’ attention in emergency situations. Nick also stressed that kids could equally use the app to contact their parents in emergency situations. In essence, when used properly, the app would prove to be productive rather than destructive.