Let’s face it; we are all busy! Managing the daily tasks of our own lives is difficult, but add in the activities and needs of our children and things get pretty crazy! ScreenDoor: Who’s Free to Play is a social networking app that aims to take some of the crazy out by relieving the hassle of arranging playdates for our children. This app is smart, easy to use, and has a real place in the lives of iPhone parents.
It never fails. As soon as I need to get something done, my kids come to me with a simple request, “Mom, can I play with a friend?” Now, begins the task of finding a friend who is home and available to play. Often that involves multiple phone calls or texts, and if no one is available, some very frustrated and disappointed kids. Screen Door: Who’s Free to Play takes that time-consuming step out. To get started, you set up a profile and add your children to your profile. Now, you must expand your social circle by sending invites to the parents of your children’s friends. Once that is all set up all you need to do, is open the app, tap on your children who are available to play and either wait to see if someone contacts you to play or look at their friends and see if they are available to play. Then, with the tap of a finger you can call, text or email the parent to arrange to play.
I really like the concept of this app. It is nice to open an app and see which friends are available to play without the guesswork involved with calling multiple kids to find one who can play. However, for me, I am not convinced that this app will be useful. First of all, I would have to remember to get on and indicate when my kids are available to play and then remember to get back on and change it to not available to play when they can’t. Conversely, you are kind of relying on the fact that the other parents have remembered to mark their kids available to play as well. Secondly, my older children are capable of calling their own friends and making arrangements themselves and I like to give them the opportunity to take the initiative to reach out to their friends. That being said, this app is very easy to set up and use. If you and your parent peers can really commit to using this app loyally, it has the potential to be a valuable tool for you.