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Phone Police: “Ignore No More”

Everyone has been there. You’re out with friends or at a concert, and your phone starts ringing with a call from mom or dad. Usually, it is relatively safe to assume that nothing terrible is happening, and so it is all too easy to hit ‘ignore’ and call back later-much, much later.

The classic argument for getting a cell phone is that it will make it easier for parents to get ahold of their children, but in reality students rarely check their phones or if they do, they have a tendency to ignore texts or calls from their parents.

Well apparently, one mother had enough, because she went so far as to develop a new app.

The “Ignore No More” app for android phones was released about a week ago, and a version for the iPhone is said to be in the works. Essentially, it shuts down all functions of the phone until kids call their parents back. No camera. No Instagram. No Twitter. Once installed and activated, kids who miss or ignore their parents calls have exactly two options: call mom, or call 911.

The app has been virtually kid-proofed as well. If you try to disable or uninstall the app, the phone goes into lockdown, and your parents get an email. If you put your phone on airplane mode, remove and re-insert the battery, or restart the phone, it will go into shut down mode as soon as it is turned back on, and all functions will be unavailable until the parent phone enters a special passcode.

To many, this app seems like an extreme. Kids leave their phones in different places all the time, or sometimes they just don’t hear it ring. Is it really fair to freeze up their phones for something as simple as not hearing the phone ring? Others argue that parents should teach their kids that when mom calls, you call back, and that this app is taking the place of strong parenting. And yet to some this is just the kind of thing they’ve been waiting for.

The app may not be on everyone’s phone, but its mere existence should certainly prove more than enough motivation to get people to pick up their phones and call their parents back.

Written by Sarah Fornshell’15

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