Grownup life is hard. This app handles it for you Melanie Baker February 5, 2015 Columns, Featured, M-Theory A while back I expressed satirical gratitude for apps and social services that enable us to outsource our humanity. After all, not being a droid or a sociopath is so much work. Apparently, I only thought I was kidding. Because pplpkr is a thing. I highly recommend the explanatory video. If you don’t have that kind of time or interest, allow me to summarize… Your body and brain are a highly tuned system that has evolved over millennia to enable you to experience things, form thoughts and feelings related to those experiences, and then act on or react to them. But this is 2015! There are no more sabre-toothed cats to chase us! Our social interactions are sophisticated and subtle! Social interactions take work. Hell, we’ve got apps to innovate on, and funding rounds to raise, and hipster moustaches to wax. So what pplpkr will do is track and analyze all of that for you. You wear a chunky, ugly wristband to monitor your physical reactions to… well, life, basically. Then you tell the app to what and to whom those reactions were for. The app then does Science to provide rocket surgery insights like, “Golly gee, Ted. You get mad every time you hang out with Steve. Perhaps hanging out with Steve is a bad idea.” Because you couldn’t possibly reliably notice that every time you see Steve’s smug, stupid face you want to punch a kitten. Well, first punch him, then the kitten. Thank goodness pplpkr will save the kittens from unwarranted fisticuffs! Over time this technological marvel will enable you to analyze your relationships and interactions with everyone you know and meet, and determine where they fit into your life. Or don’t. Or it may just end you up in therapy or curled up in a closet in the fetal position. After all, there’s a label for “most aroused by.” There’s no possible way for stark evidence of consistently getting a man- or lady-boner for an utterly inappropriate person to cause awkwardness or really bad decisions. (See: every “will they or won’t they?” TV romance ever.) Maybe it’s just because I’ve been enjoying all those apps and services that enable me to embrace sociopathy, but I would totally be gunning to get labelled “most afraid of” for as many people as possible. This should surprise no one I know. Even without an app to confirm it. 🙂 That said, I would like to think I actually pay enough attention to my own thoughts and feelings to know to avoid anyone idiotic enough to actually buy into this categorization system instead of just being, y’know, an adult. Yes, ladies and gents, even in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes socially stunted world of tech, you still need to follow that Yellow Brick Road that leads to becoming… a grown-up. And when you get there, you will realize that that person who you consistently want to punch in the face? Yeah, stop hanging out with him or answering his texts. That person who I really like and who also happens to be single? Hey, gonna invite him out for coffee, see what happens… And that person who makes me feel “most calm?” Well, I’ll know who goes on speed dial if things don’t work out with coffee guy. We can do better than this, people. (More on that in future columns.) Photo: The brothers fight it out (III) / Peleas entre hermanos (III) by Marianne Perdomo is licensed under CC BY 2.0. M-Theory is an opinion column by Melanie Baker. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Communitech.