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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Smartphones have evolved to the point where it’s pretty much the same as carrying around a small computer. Long gone are the days of flip phones with limited means. That is both a blessing and a curse.

The first SMS text message ever sent between phones was in 1992 and read, “Merry Christmas.”

Cell phones are a blessing in that parents have an easier way to keep track of their kids but a curse in that despite the fact that kids have their noses in their phones nearly all day and night, getting some of them to respond to their parents takes a minor miracle.

One parent grew tired of his son ignoring messages and phone calls, so he decided to do something about it. His solution can help other parents dealing with the same issue.

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London resident Nick Herbert created an app that when installed, requires the user to reply instantly or their phones will be locked. The app will notify someone who calls or sends a message if the phone gets turned off and users can set an alarm when the recipient receives a call or a message.

According to a Pew Research poll, teens spent an average of 9 hours per day online in 2018.

Any parent can identify with the frustration of calling their son or daughter and the call going straight to voicemail. Or sending a text message and getting no reply. It’s worse when parents are with their kids and see them replying to friends almost immediately.

While parents might want to set some ground rules with their kids when it comes to the use of phones, human nature inevitably kicks in. Kids, especially teens, do at times rebel against their parents, even if it’s just slightly. The separation caused by phones can give teenagers a sense of entitlement they wouldn’t dare exhibit to their parents face to face.

If that happens, apps like this are sometimes necessary. Utilizing its restrictions can create an environment where kids will learn there are consequences to not answering their parents.

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