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Last post Author Topic: Frustrated Mom Creates ‘Ignore No More’ App To Get Teen Kids To Return Calls  (Read 11196 times)

Renegade

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Here's an interesting app:

http://newyork.cbslo...ids-to-return-calls/

Quote
Frustrated Mom Creates ‘Ignore No More’ App To Get Teen Kids To Return Calls

Parents in the Tri-State and around the world can relate: Trying to reach your teen by phone, only to get ignored.

One frustrated mom decided to do something about it.

As CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reports, Sharon Standifird, was livid the day she called and texted her teenagers and they didn’t respond.

Once she knew they were safe but ignoring her calls, she got an idea, Gainer reported.

“We need to develop an app that just shuts their phone completely down and they can’t even use it,” Standifird said. “And I started — literally just started researching how to develop an app.”

So after months of design and working with developers, “Ignore No more” was born.

With one tap, a list of only parent-selected contacts come up. The child can call, get the password and unlock the phone.

“Bradley needs to call me because I’m the person that has the unlock password,” Standifird said.

“It takes away texting, it takes away the gaming, it takes away calling their friends. The child will always be able to call 911,” said Standifird.

“So much for my daughter saying she didn’t get my text,” a woman named Deborah from Hoboken, N.J. told CBSNewYork.com. She added she loves the idea and is going to download the app.

CBSNewYork Facebook fan Teresa said she “loves it.” Antonio commented on Facebook that he would use the app, “especially since I’m the one paying the phone bills.”

So far, it seems the app has been a success. Standifird says her son responds to her texts and calls more quickly than he used to.

Her son Bradley, however, likes the idea, but not for himself. “Um, well I thought it was a good idea, but for other people, not me.”

“Ignore No More” is available only for Android phones on Google Play.

Heh. Clever. :)
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mouser

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nice. very clever.

40hz

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Her son Bradley, however, likes the idea, but not for himself. “Um, well I thought it was a good idea, but for other people, not me.”


Brad sounds like yet another one of those "Um, yeah, but uh...it shouldn't be like that." kids.

Good luck with your prodigy Ms. Standifird. :-\

Note: I take a pretty dim view of using just technology to discipline and socialize children. That's why I never would take a request from anyone to put "use monitoring" or other"nanny/spy" software on a child's computer. (Lost a damn good client once because of that policy too!)

In this case, I would have liked it more if she came up with something that sent an autoresponse back to let her know the phone had received the message - and then let her little darling know that if HE didn't also respond within a reasonable amount of time, he was grounded.

There's always the chance of an emergency where placing an immediate call, text, or taking a photo/vid is time critical. Like when you went someplace and/or did something you weren't supposed to - and ended up in a situation where it was imperative to contact Fire Rescue or the police as quickly as possible. Or to photo/video document something for legal reasons.

In an emergency, seconds often count. Especially if Mom is not available to immediately answer the call and unlock her kid's phone. (I can predict more than a few parents might decide not to answer a tardily returned call. They'll just play the old "tit for tat" game and 'punish' their kid by deliberately not answering and leave their kid's phone locked out. Teach em' a lesson that will!)

So having to call or text Mom back first could have dangerous unintended consequences.

FWIW I have little faith in deploying restrictive technology that "only the parent" (or employer - or the government?) can supposedly use. Because if it's out there, somebody will hack it and put it to unintended uses.

And the kids will discover (and share) ways get around it soon enough.

So... Ms. Gainer? You're a parent. Why not adopt Google's public mantra of: "Do no evil." since you like Android so much.

You can start by raising your own kid and not depending on Uncle Android to discipline him/her/it.

It doesn't take a village (or a multi-billion dollar corporation) to raise a child. Just a patient and responsible parent. :P
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 09:00:01 AM by 40hz »

hamradio

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In an emergency, seconds often count. Especially if Mom is not available to immediately answer the call and unlock her kid's phone. (I can predict more than a few parents might decide not to answer a tardily returned call. They'll just play the old "tit for tat" game and 'punish' their kid by deliberately not answering and leave their kid's phone locked out. Teach em' a lesson that will!)

So having to call or text Mom back first could have dangerous unintended consequences.

Just to confirm...

Quote from: CBS New York
“...The child will always be able to call 911,” said Standifird.
Carroll - HamRadioUSA.net

40hz

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^Even with that, the rest of my comment still stands because not every 'emergency' demands a 911 call. A call for roadside assistance or other less serious problem wouldn't be helped by having 911 available. :)

But this app doesn't block 911 solely due to a decision made by the app developer either. I have since learned ALL mobile devices are required by law to have non-defeatable 911 capabilities. Your cellphone can even dial 911 without a SIM card installed. As long as the antenna functions and can get a signal, you can call 911.

At least in the USA.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 01:36:18 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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^Even with that, the rest of my comment still stands. :)

Even without her making the app, the technology was already there.  So... that sort of pokes a hole in part of the rest of your comment. :P

40hz

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^Don't think so. Re-read it again. ;)

This is being advanced in the name of "the children." ;D

tomos

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This is being advanced in the name of "the children." ;D

^that on it's own is not a reason to knock it either.

I suspect you dont have children from your response above (only those of us without kids could be so idealistic I think), but I still think you made good points :up:
Tom

Edvard

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This is being advanced in the name of "the children." ;D

^that on it's own is not a reason to knock it either.

I suspect you dont have children from your response above (only those of us without kids could be so idealistic I think), but I still think you made good points :up:

40Hz, you made some very good points, but I do agree with Tomos.  My kid has had his ups and downs, but he's really good about calling or texting back, so I'd never have any reason to use this app, and we've tried to raise him to be ready for real independence when the time comes.  

Whether that makes me a good parent or not, I consider myself fortunate.

So many kids are not as responsible, regardless of the quality of their parents, and I see it every damn time I go someplace where 12-16 year-olds congregate (thankfully, that's not often  :-\ ).  "Won't somebody think of the children" has so often been used as a nice little mockery to throw at us folks who ARE thinking of our children that I have just stop and draw a line, instead of bowing in shame for 'keeping little junior from his potential'.

Even patient, responsible parents who do their best to raise citizens of integrity is deadly aware that oftentimes our children do not think.  Period. As immature human beings, they very easily get into herd mentality and suddenly they're doing things that prove either unhealthy or life-threatening.  How do I know that?  Because I did it as a kid, and I have to admit, some of those things were an awful lot of fun; but I can honestly say that in most cases I did not think through the consequences before doing it.  My mother would have had an instant heart attack if she knew where I was and what I was up to, because she loved me dearly and wanted to continue seeing me in one piece for as long as possible.  
That's NOT an unreasonable desire on the part of any parent.  

I'm sure any thinking person can come up with counter-arguments and "what if" scenarios until the cows come home, but at the bottom line, just because someone uses this app, doesn't mean they are not parenting.  In fact, if used as intended in the situations called for (not just because you want to lock out Missy until she picks up some milk on the way home from the waterpark), it can be as useful a parenting tool as any.  Yes, some will find ways to abuse it, yes, kids will find a way around it, welcome to human nature.  But for God's sake, don't make me feel any less if I used it because I wanted to know if my kid was still alive or not.
 :two:

40hz

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This is being advanced in the name of "the children." ;D

^that on it's own is not a reason to knock it either.

I suspect you dont have children from your response above (only those of us without kids could be so idealistic I think), but I still think you made good points :up:

Although I don't have biological progeny of my own, I've done a fair amount of genuine child rearing in my time. So I'm not insensitive or unaware of the concerns many parents have. (Unless somebody wants put forth that old bromide that says: "if they're not your own it's not the same. Because if that's the case, we might as well just end the discussion now. ;D)

However, just because somebody is "concerned," or "worried," or "Your Mother" doesn't justify doing something short-sighted and wrong (from both a behavioral and ethical perspective) in the name of "doing what's right for your child."

That's a 'justification' for all sorts of horrendous actions and interventions children shouldn't be subjected to.

You don't point electronic surveillance/control technology at a loved one. At least not in my school of ethics.


How do I know that?  Because I did it as a kid

@E - I think that's a case of YMMV. Something that varies from family to family. That sort of thing hasn't been an issue in my family. Maybe it's luck. But we don't happen to think so. We like to think it's more how we bring our kids up. And our approach may not work for everybody since each family situation is different. So it goes.

Minor point: any time I hear people getting very defensive about something, I see a red flag. My opinion about somebody's parenting shouldn't matter to them if they truly do think they're doing what's right to the best of their knowledge. So when I hear people saying: "don't make me feel any less if I used it because I wanted to know if my kid was still alive or not" I suspect they too feel there is something intrinsically wrong with using an app like this one. I'm not trying to make anybody feel a certain way. But I am saying this entire approach is flat out wrong. It's harmful. It's dehumanizing. And it sends the wrong message to a kid about behaving responsibly and considerately.

But that's me. :)


Renegade

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...oftentimes our children do not think

Guilty.

Because I did it as a kid, and I have to admit, some of those things were an awful lot of fun; but I can honestly say that in most cases I did not think through the consequences before doing it. 

You're not alone.

Anyone care to count how many times they put themselves in **stupid** situations where they could have easily been killed? ;)

My mother would have had an instant heart attack if she knew where I was and what I was up to, because she loved me dearly and wanted to continue seeing me in one piece for as long as possible. 
That's NOT an unreasonable desire on the part of any parent. 

+1

You don't point electronic surveillance/control technology at a loved one. At least not in my school of ethics.

Perhaps it might be better thought of as, "I bought this device for you to use. The next thing it is going to be used for is to call me."

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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^Don't think so. Re-read it again. ;)

This is being advanced in the name of "the children." ;D

She didn't make a new android device.  She made an app.  And apps are limited by ... the device it is on.  She just programmed it to do something different.  The technology was already there.

Quote
“We need to develop an app that just shuts their phone completely down and they can’t even use it,” Standifird said. “And I started — literally just started researching how to develop an app.”

Now who needs to read it again? ;)

Perhaps it might be better thought of as, "I bought this device for you to use. The next thing it is going to be used for is to call me."

Exactly.

app103

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My daughter is 28, and she doesn't call me back when I call her. She won't even listen to the voicemail. She drops everything and rushes home to find out what is wrong.  ;D

She knows I would never call her unless it was some sort of emergency. She knows this from years of living with me, just how much I hate phones and won't use one unless I have to.

See, if you pester your kids (or anyone else) too much, it's like crying wolf, and they stop responding. Save it for when it really counts.

Just because your kids and you are so well connected through technology, doesn't mean you can't give them the space and trust they need. Yeah, sure they will do dumb stuff. You can't stop that. Better that they do the dumb stuff while they still have you around to help them learn not to do it again, than to have you hovering over them every moment of every day, removing every opportunity for them to learn how to be independent, mature human beings, because you are afraid they will do all the stupid things you did. You learned your lesson, and they will too...in time...but only if they are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

tomos

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How do I know that?  Because I did it as a kid

@E - I think that's a case of YMMV. Something that varies from family to family. That sort of thing hasn't been an issue in my family. Maybe it's luck. But we don't happen to think so. We like to think it's more how we bring our kids up. And our approach may not work for everybody since each family situation is different. So it goes.

I'm (still) in the odd position of agreeing with your recommendations, but being a bit overwhelmed by your attitude.

1) we dont get to choose our parents (I dont think anyways). If you got to grow up in a 'good' family, that's something you can be thankful about.
2) most parents do their best; if the parents have flaws, the children in turn tend to try and correct them in the next generation - of course this can be a bit 'reactionary' e.g. going from over-disciplined to being too lax, etc. etc.
Tom

Gwen7

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it's important to teach American children to accept electronic surveillance and coercion as early as possible. this misguided app will certainly help do that. :-(

Renegade

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...just how much I hate phones and won't use one unless I have to.

I can relate to that! :)

Just because your kids and you are so well connected through technology, doesn't mean you can't give them the space and trust they need. Yeah, sure they will do dumb stuff. You can't stop that. Better that they do the dumb stuff while they still have you around to help them learn not to do it again, than to have you hovering over them every moment of every day, removing every opportunity for them to learn how to be independent, mature human beings, because you are afraid they will do all the stupid things you did. You learned your lesson, and they will too...in time...but only if they are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

But sometimes you really do NEED to contact someone. Kids included.

Like any tool, this one can certainly be abused. No doubt about that.

Say for example your 16 year old is going to be driving home, and you hear weather reports about black ice. 16 year olds aren't really the most experienced drivers. Being able to advise on an alternate route would probably be a good thing.

But, for every good example, there is a bad example of how it can be abused.

I don't think that this tool will make bad parents much worse. There are far more insidious ways that parents can destroy their children.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 09:03:32 AM by Renegade »

Renegade

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it's important to teach American children to accept electronic surveillance and coercion as early as possible. this misguided app will certainly help do that. :-(

To be (somewhat) contrarian...

"My phone. I bought it. I paid for it. I am responsible for it. My phone. You get the privilege of using it at my discretion. When you turn 18 and buy your own phone, then you get to set the rules for your phone and assume all responsibility and all privileges. I set the rules for my phone. Feel free to give it back to me at any time."

It might be a good thing to illustrate to children that what they are being subjected to isn't a great and wonderful thing. That level of control isn't healthy for adults, and they can learn that lesson as children. They can then go on with that understanding that they were once children, but they are no longer, and nobody has any right to control them or their communications any longer.

It is perfectly possible to use this tool to illustrate that surveillance and coercion are not good things. I'd argue that this tool provides an excellent opportunity for that.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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it's important to teach American children to accept electronic surveillance and coercion as early as possible. this misguided app will certainly help do that. :-(

To be (somewhat) contrarian...

"My phone. I bought it. I paid for it. I am responsible for it. My phone. You get the privilege of using it at my discretion. When you turn 18 and buy your own phone, then you get to set the rules for your phone and assume all responsibility and all privileges. I set the rules for my phone. Feel free to give it back to me at any time."


That's an oddly harsh and authoritarian argument (assuming you call a simple F.U. assertion an argument) coming from somebody who is so anti-authoritarian about just about everything else...

I sense a certain philosophical disconnect in progress. :huh:

It is perfectly possible to use this tool to illustrate that surveillance and coercion are not good things. I'd argue that this tool provides an excellent opportunity for that.

Ah! The old trick of deliberately creating a horrible example of "what can happen" to teach a lesson about "the horrible thing that could happen - to you!" One could argue the same thing can be said for public flogging and capital punishment. Those have their advocates too. But again, that's hardly an argument. More what you'd call an assertion.

Just sayin' ;)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 11:05:19 AM by 40hz »

40hz

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I'm (still) in the odd position of agreeing with your recommendations, but being a bit overwhelmed by your attitude.

If it comes across as "attitude," believe me it isn’t.

It's just object to the "levelling" I hear whenever the topic of the behavior of children comes up.

No...not everybody did something life threatening when a kid.

No...not every kid got into serious trouble over something.

No...not every kid is easily led.

No...not every teen routinely indulged in sex, drugs, and alcohol while in high school.

No...it's definitely not true that most of us didn't pay any attention while in school.

No...not every teen speeds, cuts classes, steals, regularly lies to their parents, or does bad things.

So when somebody comes to me and says "Well I remember how out of control I was at that age. We all were." I have to call BS on that and say: "Speak for yourself." Because most of us weren't. And since I deal with enough kids to appreciate how smart and aware of what's going on most of them are, it's not just simple belief on my part. They're just as sick and tired of the jerks they have to deal with as the rest of us are.
 :tellme:

« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 11:27:18 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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There are also different technologies and such that are available that weren't when we were kids.  Just because we didn't necessarily *need* it, is that a reason not to use it?  The problem is in the application, not in the technology itself.  And I just have a problem with the 'leveling' of technology when it's a people problem.  It's a tool, and under the correct circumstance, its application can be warranted.

MilesAhead

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it's important to teach American children to accept electronic surveillance and coercion as early as possible. this misguided app will certainly help do that. :-(

I can appreciate the irony.  I was always very touchy about privacy issues, GPS in the cell phone etc..

Now I find myself homeless in Miami.  My driver's license has never been revoked or suspended.  It is merely expired.  Even though I resided at the same address in Florida for more than 20 years I cannot renew my license since I am not a "permanent resident" of Florida.  To send over the net for my birth certificate, they want a scan of my driver's license.  Good old catch 22 in play.  After this going on for a year and a half I say give me the chip in the arm.  At least then I can prove who I am.

All this crap with stolen and lost IDs could easily be avoided with banks providing tiny safe deposit boxes.  It doesn't require a large drawer to hold copies of driver license, birth certificate, passport, deeds to property etc.

When the issuing government agency gives you one of these documents it should forward a copy to the bank near where you live.  Driver's License stolen?  Go to bank and get the copy.  Go to DMV to get another copy.  When you go to the bank with no ID and give the drawer number, the teller can open the drawer and check the picture ID inside.  The problem of proving who you are to get your stuff disappears.

Sorry to hijack the thread but it's not like Big Brother can't shut you down if he feels like it.  All he has to do is add your name to the computer list of suspected terrorists.  For most it would be game over right then.  For those with resources, they may be able to dig themselves out after an indeterminate period of residing in Hell.  :)

Renegade

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it's important to teach American children to accept electronic surveillance and coercion as early as possible. this misguided app will certainly help do that. :-(

To be (somewhat) contrarian...

"My phone. I bought it. I paid for it. I am responsible for it. My phone. You get the privilege of using it at my discretion. When you turn 18 and buy your own phone, then you get to set the rules for your phone and assume all responsibility and all privileges. I set the rules for my phone. Feel free to give it back to me at any time."


That's an oddly harsh and authoritarian argument (assuming you call a simple F.U. assertion an argument) coming from somebody who is so anti-authoritarian about just about everything else...

I sense a certain philosophical disconnect in progress. :huh:

It is perfectly possible to use this tool to illustrate that surveillance and coercion are not good things. I'd argue that this tool provides an excellent opportunity for that.

Ah! The old trick of deliberately creating a horrible example of "what can happen" to teach a lesson about "the horrible thing that could happen - to you!" One could argue the same thing can be said for public flogging and capital punishment. Those have their advocates too. But again, that's hardly an argument. More what you'd call an assertion.

Just sayin' ;)

Like I said, "contrarian". ;)

And yes - I framed it brutally.

Children do not have all the rights that adults have. You seem to be implying that they do.

I am arguing that parents determine which rights and responsibilities children gain as they grow up to the point that they become adults and assume all rights and responsibilities for themselves.

I don't think that it's too controversial to say that it is prudent for parents to restrict the rights of their 4 year olds to own and operate firearms, or their 8 year olds to own and operate motor vehicles.

The question is about the child's readiness for any given particular right/responsibility.

A mobile phone is a convenient way to extend freedom of movement. The app is a tool to maintain the mobile phone there.

But it's not up to you or me to determine when other people's children are ready to assume any given right or responsibility -- that is purely the domain of the parent. Not you. Not me. Not the state. Not media pundits. Parents. Only. Exclusively.

I sense a certain philosophical disconnect in progress. :huh:

Perhaps I deserve a more charitable read?

Or perhaps once a child is born, it has all the rights and responsibilities of an adult and we should just kick the infant out on the street to fend for itself? ;)

Just to stir the pot a bit more... ;)

http://www.slate.com..._go_to_the_park.html
http://www.theatlant...e-park-alone/374436/
http://nymag.com/dai...er-play-outside.html

All the same story.

It highlights a related issue. Does that woman have the right to determine whether or not her daughter is responsible enough to exercise the freedom that was granted? I've made my position on this very clear. The question there is the exact same as with the app that we're discussing here.
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Renegade

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No...not everybody did something life threatening when a kid.

No...not every kid got into serious trouble over something.

No...not every kid is easily led.

No...not every teen routinely indulged in sex, drugs, and alcohol while in high school.

No...it's definitely not true that most of us didn't pay any attention while in school.

No...not every teen speeds, cuts classes, steals, regularly lies to their parents, or does bad things.

Absolutely!

Not all children are the same, and not all children need to be treated/raised the same.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that this app is appropriate for all children. That would be just complete lunacy.

FWIW - I think that this app is best used sparingly, and probably only needed for kids that are prone to stray into dangerous territory.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Edvard

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Although I don't have biological progeny of my own, I've done a fair amount of genuine child rearing in my time. So I'm not insensitive or unaware of the concerns many parents have. (Unless somebody wants put forth that old bromide that says: "if they're not your own it's not the same. Because if that's the case, we might as well just end the discussion now. ;D)

Far be it from me to belittle anyone's experience with raising children, seriously.  But I do have to say that while caring for someone else's children has it's own great and valid burden of consequences, when you are ultimately responsible from cradle to graduation for the health, welfare, and social viability of a brand-new human being that fruited from your very own loins, the stakes are higher and the ties run deeper than any other.  If you want to end the discussion, fair enough.  That's just my experience.

I had written some other blatherings, but then I realized something.  First of all:

You don't point electronic surveillance/control technology at a loved one. At least not in my school of ethics.

With this, I whole-heartedly concur
*
Welll... there was that period of time when I was working night shift and my wife was working during the day, that we used one of those "Baby monitor" things so I could wake up when my son did.  The alternative would have been to curl up on the floor in the kid's room.  Not gonna happen.  Is that surveillance?  Yes.  Did it cross the line?  In that situation, no.  But I digress...

If I thought flat-out surveillance was the only viable methodology for keeping my child in line, then I have failed as a parent.  No questions.  Then I realized the reason I am not opposed to this app is that (in my opinion) it fundamentally does not cross the line into surveillance.  What is it then?  You alluded to it:

In this case, I would have liked it more if she came up with something that sent an autoresponse back to let her know the phone had received the message - and then let her little darling know that if HE didn't also respond within a reasonable amount of time, he was grounded.
(emphasis mine)

Back when I was a kid, "grounded" meant that I did something stupid, and as a consequence, I was not allowed to do certain things for a period of time.  That worked pretty well, but only because I was at home in the presence of my parents who could immediately exercise the appropriate restraints on my liberty.  In the case of the situations that gave rise to the reasoning behind this app, the child in question is outside of the parent's sphere of immediate influence.  Sending a text saying "I know you got this message, respond or you're grounded" is somewhat toothless.  That tells him/her "I can do what I want until I decide to go home and face the gauntlet".  Ah, but temporarily disable their phone, especially kids of this generation, and you get their attention.  This app is, or should not be more than, akin to a grounding tool.  Parents could easily do (and have done) worse.

So when somebody comes to me and says "Well I remember how out of control I was at that age. We all were." I have to call BS on that and say: "Speak for yourself." Because most of us weren't. And since I deal with enough kids to appreciate how smart and aware of what's going on most of them are, it's not just simple belief on my part. They're just as sick and tired of the jerks they have to deal with as the rest of us are.

Yes, I've met almost as many very smart, polite, aware kids that I would be proud to call my own, and please forgive me for implying that all kids are going to be stupid just because I was.  To be honest, that isn't exactly what I meant (and for the record, I had pretty good parents and a mostly happy, secure childhood; I really had no excuse...).  
Perhaps I should have phrased it that all kids have the potential to do dumb/dangerous/ill-conceived things simply by virtue that they are immature humans; works in progress whose decision-making faculties aren't fully 'in gear' until life experience has galvanized into genuine wisdom.  I've met enough full-grown adults still struggling with maturity to be anything but reassured that children left to their own devices will turn out peachy.  Until you can give me a 100% guarantee on some methodology of this nebulous concept we call "parenting" that will produce ideal citizens, then erring on the side of caution is rather the smart thing to do.

So when I hear people saying: "don't make me feel any less if I used it because I wanted to know if my kid was still alive or not" I suspect they too feel there is something intrinsically wrong with using an app like this one.

Nope.  I stand by my original thought on this one.  IMO, this app does not cross the line into surveillance.  I haven't seen in my son any behavior that would warrant me actually using it, but I can definitely see the potential for situations where I needed to say to him "No, really, you need to call me back now".  Keyloggers, GPS trackers, text message mirrors (#1 request by parents for keeping tabs on out-of-control kids when I worked at Sprint) are all technologies I would never feel comfortable with, because you are correct; effective parenting makes these things completely unnecessary and obsolete.  Use of these sorts of things is indeed a 'red flag' that parenting has failed.  
But that reminds me of a story...
When my son was about 5, I was home with him, and was talking on the phone with my wife, who was at work.  My son was standing at the front door, which was open, but the screen door was closed.  While I was talking, he suddenly opened the screen door and went down the front porch stairs.  Took about 3 nanoseconds.  I cut off conversation with my wife, told her what just happened and that I had to go.  By the time I had gotten outside, my son was gone, nowhere to be seen.  After spending about 5 minutes screaming for him at the top of my lungs around the neighborhood, I found him just over the hill (maybe 20 yards from the house), talking to the neighbor girl (also approximately 5 years old, and without her parent's knowledge of her whereabouts) about puppies.  I sternly reminded him of the necessity of not leaving the house without my permission or supervision and frog-marched him and the neighbor girl back over the hill.  That was many years ago, and I hate to admit it, but at that moment I would have given my right arm for a motion-tracking neighborhood drone.  
I like my right arm.  I like it very much.

But I love my son.

Sue me.

That said, If I caught wind that my son was up to something illegal or life-threatening and he didn't own up to it, I would be sorely tempted to use whatever technology I felt appropriate to find out what was really going on.  Failed parent as I might be at that moment, the least I could do is attempt to stop the tragedy from playing out further.  Maybe the better option at that point would be to involve the appropriate authorities?  That has it's own caveats that I'd rather not get into...

TL;DR

40hz: I agree with enough of what you've said that I think the disagreement hinges upon our opinions of exactly how draconian this app is, or could be.  In my opinion, not so much.  Perhaps we can agree to disagree?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 04:24:46 AM by Edvard »

40hz

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Perhaps I deserve a more charitable read?

Apologies. When you said contrarian I thought you had an actual stake in the pot. I didn't realize you meant you were proposing something as Devil's advocate. (I tend to be impatient with people playing the Devil's advocate. Mainly because the role is misused so often. I'm sure you know what I mean.) :)

But it's not up to you or me to determine when other people's children are ready to assume any given right or responsibility -- that is purely the domain of the parent. Not you. Not me. Not the state. Not media pundits. Parents. Only. Exclusively.

But we do! All the time. You don't drive until a certain age. You can't be out on certain nights of the week after a certain hour if you're under a certain age. You can't go to certain entertainments or watch certain films or play certain games until you reach what somebody else has determined is an "appropriate" age. You become eligible for military service at a given age regardless of how 'ready' your parent feels you are. You attend school on certain days at certain hours or face prosecution for truancy - along with your parents in some cases. There are so-called "juvenile courts" for dealing with seriously "troubled children." And laws that don't take full effect until you are no longer deemed a minor. None of these are based on a parent's consent or determination of their offspring's maturity. Schools look for signs of physical and emotional abuse - and are required by law to report any suspicions of same to the state's "child & family" authorities for investigation and possible legal action. And where does rearing and disciplining cross the line into the realm of abuse? The state authorities get the final word on that one.

So if only the parents have the right to decide when their kid is ready for additional responsibilities, they've certainly got a lot of people and infrastructure ready to show them that's not how things work around here.

But let's go back to a previous point:

Quote
But it's not up to you or me to determine when other people's children are ready to assume any given right or responsibility -- that is purely the domain of the parent. Not you. Not me. Not the state. Not media pundits. Parents. Only. Exclusively.

Because I have a deeper question: Why so?

Just what is it that makes someone who has done something they can claim very little (if any) direct credit for (i.e. biologically reproduce) feel they are automatically and absolutely qualified to raise a kid? There's this weird bit of knee-jerk magical logic that says "mother/father knows best." Even when it's quite obvious that approximately half of them do not.

How does that work? :huh: