We’re all guilty of ignoring messages from our mates yet we’re also left fuming when it happens to us.
Sure sometimes there’s a genuine reason why you can’t reply to your friend’s message. Most of the time though you simply can’t be bothered.
The whole process became such an issue for a dad who got sick of his son ignoring his messages, he took matters into his own hands.
Nick invented the ReplyASAP app to tackle the ongoing problem with getting in touch with his son. Basically the app means that when his son receives a text from his dad, it will take over his screen and make loud noises until the recipient replies or reacts to the message.
It even works if the phone has been placed on silent.
On his website, Nick laid out the thought process behind designing the app.
“Hi, my name is Nick
This app was born out of personal frustrations with current messaging apps.
I have a son, Ben, who is at secondary school. When he started secondary school I bought him a smart phone so that I could contact him and he could contact me (obviously not while at school).
However, what I thought was a solution turned into a different problem. Because the phone was ‘smart’, he could play games and watch videos on it. So invariably he keeps his phone on silent so I wouldn’t know. As such when I try and contact him he rarely answers, either because he doesn’t hear the phone, or because (and I’ve finally had to admit this to myself) he may be embarrassed to speak to his Dad in front of his friends.
There are times that I need to get a message to him and he has no way of knowing that the call or text he ignores / doesn’t see is important or not, and I have no way of knowing if he has seen it (and I mean really seen it and not just moved it so he can get on with his game). There are messaging apps that tell you when a message is delivered and seen, but the point is the message can be ignored or not seen because he didn’t hear it.
So, ReplyASAP, is my solution to this problem.
During the development process I spoke to Ben and showed him the designs and thinking behind the app and he likes the idea because he will know that if he gets one of these messages then he will always hear it and will know its important. He 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.
When speaking to my friends they could all see other ‘grown up’ uses for the app because the majority of them kept their phones on silent most of the time too. Their suggestions ranged from changing your order when your friend is getting the drinks in at the bar, to finding your phone when you’ve misplaced it at home, to work situations when you need to get hold of work colleagues quickly.
However you want to use the app, I hope you enjoy it, use it responsibly and not while driving (you can tell I’m a parent) and can finally get hold of that person who always has their phone on silent.”