Smartphone apps take the mom out of the nag

The iPhone comes with a simple app to set reminders or they can be downloaded. (WTOP)

WASHINGTON – As more people turn to technology to help run their lives, smartphones are becoming digital nagging devices.

And it looks they just might like it.

In the old days, moms would offer “friendly reminders” to get things done.

“Sit up straight!”

“Take out the trash!”

“Clean your room!”

Now, there’s an app for it, or a service to send an e-mail or text reminder. People interviewed for a story in the StarTribune said having their smartphones alert them to do a chore was less abrasive and easier than having a spouse remind them, for example.

“It’s what enables me to handle more projects,” Greg Osterdyk, business owner and mayor of Carver, Minn., told the StarTribune.

“I can’t keep track of them in my head on my own.”

One smartphone app called Evernote has about 50 million users and pop-up reminders – which were added at the request of users. Other apps can remind users it’s time to work out or to pay a bill.

The jury is out on whether the digital nagging is more effective than the face-to- face kind. But based on the growing number of downloaded apps – people are interested. And, ultimately, the nagging is still under the control of the user. If they want it to stop all it takes are a few seconds to uninstall the software.

WTOP’s Alan Etter contributed to this report.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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