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This App is a Helicopter Parent’s Dream

It's a little much.

Helicopter parenting means something very different in the age of the smartphone, as evidenced by the plethora of apps designed to give moms and dads executive control over their kids’ screens. Now a new app called ReplyASAP takes that to another level: if you have an Android, you can send your kid an “ASAP” text that will freeze their phone screen until they respond.

Every time your kid gets an “ASAP” text their phone will lock and ring an alarm that’s audible even if the phone is on silent. The only way to regain independence from your parents’ digital talons is to respond to their text, and parents will be able to see when kids have opened it.

On the app’s website, creator Nick Herbert described how ReplyASAP isn’t just a torture device for parents to use on their kids. Herbert wrote that his son “will also have the ability to send me these messages – so there is a mutual understanding that using ReplyASAP is only for important things and not because he needs new batteries for his Xbox controller.”


The idea is practical, especially in case of emergencies: kids are so deep in their screens that they might not notice an important text from a parent that demands their immediate attention. On the other hand, it could lock your kid out of their phone when they actually need it, or go off during class. Not to mention that the alarm seems needlessly embarrassing.

While the app may be many parents’ dream come true, it also sounds like a teenagers’ nightmare, more akin to receiving a Harry Potter Howler (see gif) than a tool to stay connected when it really matters.

Read more on the ReplyASAP website.

Gif courtesy of Giphy.

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