There once was a time, before smart phones filled every pocket and purse, that a person could go out to a bar and have a few drinks, and not worry about any of the modern-day concerns—drunken dialing/texting/Facebooking/tweeting/selfies.
This, of course, was long before the word “sexting” made its way across our lips and across the desks of Lifetime executives. Back then, if you were worried about embarrassment at a bar, it was focused on telling one too many revealing stories to your fellow barflies. It wasn’t about going “viral.” At least, not that kind of viral.
These days, it seems we’re all our own worst enemies. There you sit, enjoying a martini or four, when suddenly, you’re hit with a seemingly brilliant—and badly misspelled—status update for Facebook. Or maybe you’re reminded of an inside joke you just have to share with an ex, with whom you haven’t had a conversation in years. Or perhaps you’re immersed in a long and involved text conversation, and rather than saying something about someone, you accidently send the text to that person. The next day, you look at your phone in horror, bewildered at what those martinis have done. It’s right out of the My Drunk Texts playbook.
There is a way to protect yourself, and it doesn’t involve hiding your phone, wearing gloves or making promises you know you won’t keep. Developers have taken note of the need for resolve in moments of lapsed judgment. A number of apps have appeared on the market that will safeguard you and your friends when you need it most.
Here are five apps to consider downloading before your next night on the town.
Oops! App Drunk Text Blocker, Android, free
This app is smart all the time so you don’t have to be. Whether you’ve had one too many negronis or are simply trying to stop yourself from texting an ex, Oops! App can stand in when your will power withers. Just enter in the names of people that you want to block, be it receiving texts from them or sending texts to them, and, voila, you’re safe. That’s not all that Oops! App can do. Ever send the wrong text to the wrong person? Say you’re having a back-and-forth gossip session about Betty, only to realize that in addition to texting something about Betty, you’ve also sent that very text to her. Oops! App actually scans texts to protect you and your big mouth.
Drunk Lock, Android, free
Click on Drunk Lock’s beer glass to turn it on or off. When it’s on, the glass is full. When it’s off, it’s empty. If the app is activated, and you try to send a text message or dial, you’ll be asked to answer a series of simple equations correctly before the message can go through. For example, 7-3-4=? 3-5+3=? 5-5/1=?. Answer correctly, and the app will deem you sober enough to send a message/make a call. Answer wrong, and you’ll get an “I’m drunk,” response, with a quote, such as “Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won’t cure a cold.” – Jerry Vale. Maybe consider sleeping it off, and see if you still need to make that call in the morning.
Drunk Mode, iOS, 99 cents
Drunk Mode doesn’t just block you from calling or texting someone. It actually hides all of that person’s contact information. That means you can’t even outsmart this app by dialing your contact’s number using your friend’s phone (unless you know that number by heart, or your friend has it stored in her phone). With Drunk Mode, you can set a timer (three to 12 hours) and then note the contacts that you want to forbid yourself from calling. You can also set up alerts to remind you not to do dumb drunken things, like drive or use Facebook. Warning: once you turn Drunk Mode on, you can’t turn it off. You just have to let it run its course.
Drunk Text Savior, iOS, 99 cents
Like a sober personal assistant, Drunk Text Savior will evaluate your message, making note of spelling errors in your text (or Tweet or Facebook update). If it detects enough errors, it flashes a message that says, “Warning! You May Be Drunk! You have some warning signs in your text. Possibly too many drinks. Are you sure you want to send this text?” It’s up to you to send or cancel the message. In addition, the app also has a number of other useful options, which allow you to call a taxi or a designated driver with the touch of a button.
Am I Drunk?, Android, free
While the Am I Drunk? App won’t physically stop you from calling someone, it can serve as a good reference point of the influence your drinks have had. Fill in your personal info on the app, such as height, weight and gender, and then note what drink you’ve had, along with the portion size and alcohol content. The app then computes an approximation of your blood alcohol content. While you should never rely on this information as scientific, it’s interesting to see the impact a couple of drinks can have, while you’re having them. If you’re using this app, and watching your percentages rise, it’s also pretty safe to assume that you should be limiting your phone calls and texts, just to be safe.