We all know what it's like when you receive a message that you don't want to reply to.
The 'sorry for the slow reply' or 'I did see your text but...' excuse is old hat now - and one father has found a way to bypass said laziness.
Nick Herbert from West Wickham, London had grown tired of being unable to contact his 13-year-old son, who was more than happy to screen his father's calls.
So, Nick took it upon himself to invent an app which would make it impossible to ignore a text message or phone call.
As an alarm can be sounded by a phone even when it is on silent, Nick concluded that there must be a way for other apps to override the silent feature.
After a bit of research the 45-year-old was able to build ReplyASAP, an app which takes over the phone, sounding an alarm which will not cease until answered.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Nick said:
My son started at Langley Park School for Boys a couple of years ago and has a smartphone.
I thought this would make getting hold of him easier, but it doesn't at all.
'In fact, he is always playing games and has the phone on silent. It drives me crazy.
ReplyAsap is currently only available on Android in the UK but an iOS version is in the works.
Nick now hopes that it will teach kids to appreciate the value of their phones beyond it being an expensive toy.
He told Digital Trends:
It is key to discuss with the child that they understand the reason for having it.
It is not a punishment or a tool for tracking them, nor will it remotely lock [or] freeze their phone.
It is simply a means of allowing them to carry on using their phone however they want, but giving a means of getting [them] an important message when [you] need to.
The app is available in four different formats, starting at the low price of just 99p but it does raise questions about how intrusive an app like this might be.
Nick doesn't think that it will completely ruin his son's life but is hoping that it will make communication a lot easier.
My son hasn't really said anything negative about the app.
It is all about him understanding why it's there.
If I have something important to say I will send an urgent message.
Hopefully It will make things a bit easier.
Will it be the bane of his life?
Maybe, I'm not going to be using it all the time to speak to him.
It is supposed to be a failsafe.