Couples Apps, Please Stop Mating And Start Consolidating

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Someone please make them stop. I know it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, but, couples apps: Enough already. You’re making me want a divorce, and I’m not even married.

There aren’t enough lovelorn long-distance teenagers in existence to sustain the rampant reproduction of these private sharing apps that encourage partners to whisper sweet pseudo-SMSes into each others’ phones. And fire forth “heartwarming” real-time digital notifications. And make beautiful lists together.

Private sharing? Really? I guess kids today haven’t heard of email… If there isn’t an app for it, it doesn’t exist right?

AvocadoBetweenCupple (now owned by Pair and rebranded Couple, which makes that into a threesome of sorts), DuetSimplyUs, Twosome – the list goes on. And on. Truly it’s enough to make Cupid pull out a crossbow and get to work on some serious consolidating.

And that’s before you get to the app that promises “‘husband training’ for the ladies and ‘priceless insight into the female mind’ for the gentlemen.” Srsly now. Make. It. Stop.

“Know that your honey is thinking about you at the same moment you do,” declares one couples app. Clearly they’ve never heard of SMS. Or a phone call. And call me an old romantic but doesn’t receiving a generic digital notification — which required the very minimum of effort to send — rather devalue the sentiment? Oh wow, you’re thinking about me again? But according to my app that’s only the 33rd time this week. Try harder dude — last week you were at 57 “me-thoughts” by now. I’m going to have to start charting this data…

“The best way to stay connected with the most important person in your life,” vows another. The best way to stay connected? Uhh, you’re in a relationship with this person. I’m pretty sure you don’t have any trouble staying connected. And if you do, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship with them at all, app or no app?

“Collect all of those special little moments with the most important person in your life, in one app,” trills a third. Yes let’s gamify relationships with a Pokémon-style sentiment! Special moments — gotta catch ‘em all! Those “special in-app moments” don’t sound quite so romantic/important, though, do they? Like when they sent you that 363rd “I’m thinking about you” notification. Or that time they drew that picture of what they were having for breakfast. Truly sweet nothings!

When these apps aren’t reducing your relationship to a series of actionable digital interactions — hey, you can even touch your phone’s screen at the same time that your significant other is touching theirs! (well ‘safe sex’ doesn’t get any safer than that) — some of them manage to sound really sinister. “Share everything,” says one app for two. “Save every moment.” Or euphemistic: “Do things with people you love”… “Get a room.” Or just desperate: “Never buy the wrong kind of toothpaste ever again.”

Okay, I’m sure there’s room in the world for a couple’s app. Maybe even two. (Alternatively, you could just use Path.) You know, for folk who haven’t figured out how to make phone calls, send emails, SMSes, MMSes, private messages via social networks, use an existing app that hasn’t branded itself as a couples’ app and/or share their digital calendars/to-do lists etc., etc. But the current orgy of couples apps is just unsightly. Enough already. Can someone please hurry up and arrange a few marriages?

[Image: by jessica.diamond via Flickr]