Bros 4 lyfe

Relationships are time-consuming. Phones make them even more so.

Gone are the days of blissful, uninterrupted bro time. Significant others expect hourly updates of where you are and what you’re doing. But bros, fear no more! The BroApp has come to rescue the day. This nifty little wingman sends out automated text messages to your S.O. so you don’t have to be bothered while you’re hanging with your dudes (Molloy, 2014).

Or at least that’s what the creators of BroApp say. The app allows users to program No Bro Zones so the messages don’t send while he is in the company of his S.O. It even comes with a “girl friend lock down mode” which “directs “inquisitive” girlfriends to a list of gifts that her boyfriend was ‘planning to buy’ her, rather than the automated messages, the Independent reported. Finally, the annoying aspects of relationships can be programmed away.

The Android app costs $1.99 to download.

The Android app costs $1.99 to download.

In an op-ed piece on WIRED, Evan Selinger takes issue with the BroApp. He explains that technology that advances and improves is good. BroApp, however, is technology that demoralizes and debases (Selinger, 2014).

Founders Tom and James (they provided no last names) believe that their app is a relationship enhancer. They see it as a way to keep their girlfriends happy while continue to focus on the other aspects of their lives. But that’s the problem, isn’t it?

Human relationships are founded on trust. Two people in a relationship have agreed that they will make time for each other. There’s mutual respect and investment by both parties that creates a sense of equality in the relationship. The BroApp undermines that. As Selinger said:

Ultimately, the reason technologies like BroApp are problematic is that they’re deceptive. They take situations where people make commitments to be honest and sincere, but treat those underlying moral values as irrelevant — or, worse, as obstacles to be overcome. If they weren’t, BroApp’s press document wouldn’t contain cautions like: “Understandably, a girl who discovers their guy using BroApp won’t be happy” (2014).

Services like Skype, Whatsapp? and other free communication tools have allowed loved ones to talk across continents. In many ways, changing technology has aided relationship building. But the use of technology to deceive undermines the foundation of a relationship. Using the BroApp, while seemingly considerate, is sending the message that your partner isn’t worth your time.

According to Selinger, Tom and James argued that new technologies are often met with adversity (2014). Humans find change uncomfortable at first. But some tech changes don’t take root. When something offends on a moral level, the majority will often shun it. Things that intentionally violate our privacy and trust leave a bad taste is our mouths, as we’ve seen with the NSA revelations.

BroApp will have its proponents, and its uses won’t be limited to scumbag players. There is, however, little need to fear that we’ll see fully automated relationships developing over the next few years. For those who make real, honest commitments, the desire to engage in a conversation with his or her S.O. will trump the convenience of an auto-text. We live in a digital age, but we all still desire human contact. An app can’t do that.

References

Molloy, A. (2014, February 28). Broapp: New app enables busy boyfriends to send pre-programmed text messages to their girlfriends. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/broapp-new-app-enables-busy-boyfriends-to-send-preprogrammed-text-messages-to-their-girlfriends-9160556.html

Selinger, E. (2014, February 26). Today’s apps are turning us into sociopaths. WIRED. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/opinion/2014/02/outsourcing-humanity-apps/

6 thoughts on “Bros 4 lyfe

  1. Wow. That’s insane but kind of funny. Technology can do a lot of good or a lot of bad. Just like anything else, it’s how it is being used. There are a lot of good technologies like Skype to enhance relationships in your life or there is apps like this, that although clever, are most likely harming your relationship.

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  2. Haha! Just wrote on the same topic 🙂 While I think that it is really upsetting that it has gotten to this point, and while I think that it would do more hard than good, I do have to be honest and admit that the BroApp does sound very tempting…

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  3. Haha what a great app…not! The last thing I would want from my boyfriend is automated text messages, but if I could choose between being ignored during brotime and getting at least some sort of message, I would choose the later. Any communication is key in a relationship, so I would be happy…my boyfriend would be happy, and his friends would be happy. So it seems to be a win-win…

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  4. I find this a super offensive concept. Tech ideally enables us to do things better and more efficiently, it shouldn’t replace our conscious action. This is how we get to the WALL-E world: we’ll all be fat *and* without meaningful relationships.

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  5. I find this app very hilarious! However, I think that the app in general is not going to be successful. An automated text sending app is sure to get you in trouble with your significant other and they will catch on really fast. Overall, funny but a definite fail

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  6. This is the stupidest thing ever to be purchased by someone. What happened to open communication? If your significant can’t handle the idea of you hanging with your friends, then there’s clearly an issue there that needs to be addressed. If you’re someone that is attached to their phone during any personal bonding time with a friend or significant other, then there’s an issue there as well. Our generation is way too reliant on the technology around us.

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