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Relationships…There’s an App for That

Relationships…There’s an App for That

In this highly-digitized world, we can track just about any measurable health aspect you could imagine: how many steps we take, how many hours of sleep we get, the number of alcoholic beverages we drink (well, not us; not anymore, amirite?), the number of gym classes we attend miss. Is it just me, or should we be sick and tired of ourselves by now?

Well, now we can take apping and measuring our lives a (giant) step further. Thanks to new apps like pplkpr, we can rely on a computer when it comes to even our emotional decision-making; something that we kind of already are doing. For instance, dating sites – an ever more popular way people are meeting their future significant others, or hook-up buddies – use mathematical algorithms to figure out for us who we might be attracted to. In the end, though, we have the final say in deciding who we choose to spend our time with.

But an app like pplkpr takes this process of applying an algorithm even further. Depending on the data it gathers, the app will compose text messages, schedule time for you and a friend to hang out and even delete contacts from your phone.

Relationships…There’s an App for That

So, then why stop at evaluating yourself when you could measure, chart and optimize your relationships with friends, family, coworkers…anyone you interact with?

Our love affair with technology and optimizing our comfort and ease in daily life, it’s no wonder that this is reflected in pop culture, such as the growing popularity of movie themes depicting dystopian futures filled with AI (artificial intelligence run amok), it’s not a stretch to think that this possible new trend is somewhat unnerving, especially because it’s realistic.

New apps, such as pplkpr, are offering a tempting glimpse of what this future might look like: It helps enhancing (read: making easy) your social life by automatically sending messages and using data to determine who’s worth spending time with, for instance.

Artists Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald, developed pplkpr to let its users quantify the value of their relationships based on a few data streams. A heart rate wrist band measures the subtle changes in your heart rate, alerting you to spikes in stress or excitement. This biometric data is correlated with information that the user manually inputs about the people they’re hanging out with. Based on patterns, algorithms will determine whether the app’s user should be spending more time with a certain person or if it’s time to cut them loose altogether.

One argument for how this sort of technology can be helpful is that it adds an objective perspective to your relationships. So, for example, perhaps that friend or lover that you keep allowing back you’re your life after they’ve hurt you so many times, well, the app can read the data that you are unwilling to see. Perhaps your heart rate and stress levels go up when you’re in their presence. Eventually, the app will delete this contact.

A technology like pplkpr has the ability to make us more caring, more emotionally attuned versions of ourselves by keeping us connected in our ever-changing, hectic lives. But it also has the potential to coldly cancel out the thing that makes humans actually human: the true nature of our relationships that are sometimes messy, on-and-off exciting, and often confusing relationships with each other.

If you are finding it more and more difficult to keep your life on track – whether it’s your relationships, finances, job, family – because you are dependent on substances, help is available. Substance abuse disorders, such as drug addiction, have a way of derailing your whole life and even put you at risk of severe, irreversible consequences, like death. Please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today.

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