Although it is something we are not used to, there is a new way of booking babysitters today–through a mobile application called Chime. The company that created this app called SitterCity promises a, “special rigor,” (Bromwich) concerning which babysitters they hire.
While reading the article, I found a few points to be rather interesting. First, I liked how much time and effort they put into deciding which babysitter to hire and make available on Chime. Vice President of Operations Andrew Conrad stated that they do an in-person interview, a video profile, and later on parents are able to rate and write reviews on the babysitter. It gives other parents a sense of security.
A second point I found to be rather interesting was how the article mentioned that parents may feel a bit uneasy about booking a babysitter over a mobile app. If I needed to hire a babysitter, I would do it the old-school way and want to meet that person face to face, not just read reviews and hope for the best. These uneasy, skeptical parents (like I would be), may drive Chime’s sales and profits down, but honestly, who can blame them? I like the idea of booking a babysitter with a couple of taps, but I want to personally know the person that is watching my child.
Another point I found to be interesting was when the article mentioned that, “Chime is strongly reminiscent of a homegrown service, the Barnard Babysitting Agency, which dates back to 1965” (Bromwich). This agency chose babysitters among women who attended the Barnard School in New York City. Reading this made me realize how far technology has come in the past years. In the late 1960s and on, people would either call or attend the agency to find a babysitter, but now with a couple of taps on their mobile device, they have a babysitter for the night. Although I may feel skeptical about booking someone I do not know, this application makes it very quick and easy.
Although article was very informative about the app, there were a few things I feel as though it left out. First, how does the company find these babysitters? Or do the babysitters put themselves out there? It sounds like a simple question, but I am not sure. A second thing I wonder is how much money was spent creating the app. I remember in class we discussed things such as buying storage space during the development of an application, and I would like to know what their costs were. A third thing I would have liked to know that the article left out is where I will be able to use this app–basically, can it find babysitters wherever I am? For example, if I am in Fargo, ND and I am in need of a babysitter for the night, will the app let me search in that random area?
Below is a link to their website:
BROMWICH, JONAH. "An App for Booking Babysitters." The New York Times 6 Nov. 2015: n. pag.
Web. 9 Nov. 2015.