Have you ever seen those cartoons where someone is getting their temperature taken, and the thermometer keeps rising while they become more angry over the situation? Think of the old Disney movie “Peter Pan” when Smee was taking care of Captain Hook, and he was talking to him about Pan banishing Tinkerbell. We have long associated anger with temperature. We even have names for people who have a temper like “hot head” or “reaching a boiling point.” Anger Thermometer is designed to help people cope with feelings of anger.
To operate the app, you launch it and push the green, yellow, or red button to describe how upset you are. Depending on what you push, there are different suggestions that pop up. If you push the green button for calm, you get a thumbs up. If you push the yellow for annoyed, you see a sign telling you to take a break. If you push red, you get a warning to take deep breaths and count to 10.
First and foremost, this app costs $1.99. I expect an app to read my blood pressure to tell me that I’m angry for that price. If this app was free, I would think it was weird because it’s impractical. The added dimension of the cost just adds another layer of ridiculousness. The app doesn’t do anything more than I described. I hesitate to buy games that cost that much. I certainly wouldn’t expect many people to buy an app that gives back so little.
Then, there’s the issue of when exactly it would be appropriate to use this app. If I had the presence of mind to stop an argument in the middle so that I could pull out my phone to tell it how angry I was, I wouldn’t need an app to prompt me to count to 10. Not to mention, I believe that the argument would escalate if I pulled out a device in the middle to document my feelings. While the app heavily leans on how great it is to help children with their feelings, I also don’t think kids would appreciate an adult asking them to push a colored button in the middle of an argument.
The app claims it’s a great tool for the aftermath to determine feelings. It suggests asking about memories or hypothetical situations to help kids identify those feelings. I just gave that advice for free. There are thousands of websites dedicated to helping kids cope with their feelings. You could print out a list of ideas for free. If you have the presence of mind to pull out the app, you could have the presence of mind to pull out your list. You don’t need this app to help you.