With the official holiday of romantic obligation looming, the Apple App Store is featuring dozens of “Apps for Valentine’s Day.” There are flower apps and message apps; diamond-ring apps and hookup apps. What do our mobile devices say about the state of modern love? Many are the apps that deliver valentines via smart phone, but with lacy trappings to dress up what would otherwise be a plain old text. They are the eQuivalent of the old greeting card, and come with all the features that once seemed so whiz-bang, but have already become tired and trite. An email tarted up with off-the-shelf graphic design! A note with a personal photo embedded in it! Such apps are inevitably marketed with an emphasis on ease. Nothing says heartfelt devotion like convenience. Valentine’s Day once afforded sentimentalists the opportunity to scribble sonnets and such. However excruciating such amateur versification may have been, it did represent a measure of effort (as the songwriter said, “it takes thought and time and rhyme to make a poem sing”). Now it’s easy to create some original electronic doggerel with the Instant Poetry app. In the style of fridge magnets, random words loosely associated with love appear on the screen. Drag them around with your finger until they are in some sort of order (or not, incomprehensibility being a convenient virtue of modern poetry). Hit send. Who has time to try channeling Shelley?
Those in need of help even in the prose department can dig past the featured apps and find a number of programs eager to play Cyrano. Clumsy, tongue-tied suitors are promised “professionally written text messages” to send their squeezes. Consider this gem from Romantext: “I am so in love with you.” But, lame as it may be—reminiscent of the Lothario language Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain” character improvises in “The Dueling Cavalier”—at least it’s a grammatical sentence. Much of the love talk offered in Appland appears to have been translated by a computer from the original Serbo-Croatian. If you are fed up with the lovey-dovey business, there is an app offering a different sort of message, the “AntiValentine.” Typical of its eCards is what looks like the cover of a romance novel—a beau with a Pepsodent leer carrying a bikini-clad vixen in his well-muscled arms. The sentiment, in headline-bold type: “You’ll Do.” It may be snarky, but it does capture a certain truth for those who have learned all they know about courtship from watching “Jersey Shore.” The App Store is crowded with matchmakers. All the obvious dating sites have mobile applications, but there are other options for seekers of soul-mates. ChuChuTune uses musical taste as a rough guide to compatibility. Take two smart phones with the program and press them together; in their embrace, the phones compare their music libraries and use the degree of overlap as a predictor of romantic success. Blendr combines users’ profiles and GPS technology to locate others “like you, near you.” The service promises to help one find those who share, for example, “your love for hiking, foreign films, or extreme sports.” Those without the app, of course, might always just go hiking or buy tickets to a Fellini festival and bank on serendipity to do the rest.
In this age of oversharing, some apps put a welcome premium on privacy. Cupple advertises itself as “the world’s first private sharing mobile application designed specifically for two people in a relationship.” These apps recognize there is peril in electronic intimacy, not least of which the ever-nagging risk that the personal will become all too public. If Anthony Weiner hadn’t been using Twitter to woo ladies with his boudoir snaps, he might still be in Congress today. But however discreet one may try to be, digital romance has a grievous flaw—all that seeming ephemera is recorded, archived and made permanent. And discoverable. Which explains the survey released this week by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: “A resounding 92% of the nation’s top divorce attorneys say that they have seen an increase in the number of cases using evidence taken from iPhones, Droids, and other smart phones during the past three years.” For Valentine’s Day, Apple’s App Store showed forbearance in not featuring the many competing apps that allow the suspicious to track their spouses’ cellphones.
Tracking your spouses’ cellphone doesn’t work when he has a secret cellphone registered under a different name and the bill doesn’t go to his account but rather is billed to the Company. Wake up Women of America. If you find evidence on social networks and mobile devices that is because he wants you to find it. Get it?? He is leading you down the “Highway to Hell” intentionally. This way you will divorce him and it will turn out to be less of a headache for him and a lot less costly.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I really hope this helps! 🙂
Highway to Hell
Oops!I did again