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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not a "Good" Boyfriend? There's an app for that

A tweet from @TheUndomestic brought this iPhone application to my attention. At first, I thought it was a joke, but no, it's real and can be purchased.

What is this iPhone app that I speak of? It's the Girlfriend Keeper App! Because men forget birthdays and woman can be programed (in the words of TheUndomestic).

I started reading the description of the app and I seriously did think it was a joke, until I found it in the iTunes App Store. With this app, you can set it up to send automated text messages or emails to your significant other at certain time intervals based on the seriousness of your relationship. You can even enter information such as anniversary dates, birthdays, and eye color. The text messages that this app randomly generates to send to your significant other are not the kind of things that I would want to be recieving. Here are some examples:

"I just drove by a brown barn and it reminded me of your eyes."
"It is 268 days until your birthday..."
I don't know if having your eyes compared to a barn is something that is romantic. And I find it kind of creepy that it sends text messages that are "it is ___ days until your birthay." That sounds kind of stalker-like (unless your birthday is only a couple days away).

But don't worry, you'll never be caught off guard when your significant other brings up an automated text message...there is a history function so that you can review all of the messages that you have sent.

Let's get to some of the reviews of this app:

"My first three wives divorced me because I always forgot anniversaries. I am pretty sure my fourth marriage will work thanks to the Girlfriend app?" Mark, 22
"Great app but change that icon. For us married types the wife is going to flip when she see's that. Make it look like an excel spreadsheet and label it GFK."
Wow, sounds like some great guys that are using this app.

This app is not only offensive to women -- thinking of women as "programmable" and appreciating of stalker-like text messages -- but is also offensive to men. Men are obviously not capable of a "real" relationship where he actually cares for his significant other and wants to be involved in that person's life. Men are obviously not capable of remembering a birthday or the color of someone's eyes. They need an application to help them.


piecesofstring said...

Ugh, horrible. And yes, definitely so offensive on both sides. I wonder if the person who developed this app was a frustrated girlfriend or a "forgetful" boyfriend? I'd be inclined to say boyfriend, if only based on the choice of words for the title. Girlfriends are something to be kept in shiny iPhone like boxes!

Clarissa said...

Nah, it must have been developed my someone who hasn't been in a real relationship yet. This image of men forgetting their wives' birthdays and anniversaries (which results in a huge drama) has inspired tons of stupid sitcoms. Such shows are ideologically inspired and for people who have no significant romantic experiences of their own they serve as a guide to understanding reality.

Any grown-up who has been in a relationship surely knows that the moment you start get this kind of messages from your partner, it's time to suggest they start visiting a psychologist. :-)

sexgenderbody said...

Your post laid the obvious sexism out on this one, as did the comments to follow.

I will draw attention to the heretofore unmentioned LAME-NESS of someone relying on an "officially licensed Apple product" to manage their relationship with another human being. Seriously...what kind of epic fail is that?

The only real value this application can serve is to act as a 'red flag', alerting people of the owner's incompatibility as a mate, friend or even carpool partner.

They ought to call it "iFail".

Zippa said...

First, this is weird. The auto-text thing, for one, is like...hiring someone to stalk FOR you. Double creepy.

Second, I would not be that offended if someone forgot my birthday if I hadn't reminded him. Of course, I've never had someone forget my birthday. And I'm the one always forgetting anniversaries and those sorts of days, so maybe I'm not the target audience.

Rosie said...

Obvious offensiveness aside, which you spelled out so well, do people not know you can do things on your phone -- for free -- like set reminders for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.?

What a horrible idea for an app. Instead of helping relationships, I imagine it will hurt them when the person on the receiving end finds out their significant other can't even bother to actually send them a text that isn't automated.

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