This morning I woke up and first thing I did was reach for my phone and check my Facebook app. After this I checked my online banking app to check the damage from the weekend which strangely held a lot of similarities to Vietnam when there was that war going on. Finally I logged in to check the weather report instead of opening my curtains and seeing the sunshine for myself. I’ll admit I’m a slave to apps, I mean most of the work I do is online so I find myself ‘connected’ most of the day.
It was whilst having a conversation this morning where I was introduced to an app called Woebot. As their tagline suggests Woebot is a “Charming robot friend who is ready to listen 24/7”. Supposedly this suave mofo was developed to help those suffering from depression. Surely the first thought that crosses your mind if you’re already in a bad place and using this bot is “Fuck me the only person that’ll listen isn’t even a sentient being.” For me personally this would push me over the edge, if it works for you then fair play who am I to complain but it surely feels like just another way to glue you to your phone and escape the real world. There is lots of evidence to suggest that our modern day addiction to smart phones and apps is a leading factor in a hell of a lot of this generation’s anxiety and depression. The thing that I find even more disgusting with this app is that you have to PAY. A weekly, monthly or annually payment just to have something not even alive listen to you. I mean fucking hell guys, that’s kicking someone whilst they are down.
Is this the sign of a dystopian future in that instead of asking your mate out to the pub you pay a couple of quid to sit at home with a warm can of Carling having your phone occasionally drop generic football banter. Fuck going on a date, just sit at home and have an app whisper sweet nothings into your ear and random nudes to see out those cold winter nights. Personally it’s scary because shit like this is already happening. People are already marrying anime characters and have girlfriend simulator apps in Japan which is causing a massive drop in real life sexual interaction. I won’t be surprised if one day you can fuck an app, download an orgasm and sign up to a weekly argument about how you’re spending more time with Twitter.
There seems to be a push recently for the so called “Dumb phone” one that doesn’t have such a firm grasp on our everyday lives. I recently came across the Mindfulness Phone. A phone that only offers the user short spells of internet usage throughout the day to deter them checking their phone up to 50+ times a day.
As someone who has foolishly lost their phone a few times whilst out and about I can tell you I was still reaching down to my pocket to check my phone multiple times throughout the day. It left me with this uneasy feeling for a while, a feeling that totally dissipated with the arrival of my new handset. I may be a slight addict to apps but I like to feel I’ve got my feet on the ground and my head in the right place…
and if I don’t, I’ve got an app for that.