The wife app
By Bonnie Marcus
My husband got an iPhone last month. It’s as if he died and went to heaven. I have been instructed to stop calling him so much and just send him an e-mail. This could be the end of a beautiful relationship. Thirty-five years of marriage down the toilet. I have turned into an app. The wife app.
Can you imagine an app that holds down a job, does her domestic duties, manages the household, raises the children and cares for the dog? All of this plus keeping her spouse’s ego intact. I am the best app available, no? Better, the wife app comes free of fees.
Just two nights ago, as I was walking the dog, I noticed a full, brilliant moon. When I got back to the house, I told my husband about it, and he said that there couldn’t be a full moon — his moon phase app said it wasn’t time yet. Our reality is being determined by our apps.
This state of affairs was to be expected. We keep devising technologies that make person-to-person contact irrelevant. At our doctor’s offices, if we are not in the computer, we do not exist. At our stock brokerage or bank, if the computers are down, we can’t get any help. The word “service” has become immaterial. A user-friendly but personally vacant business model is pushing each of us deeper into our isolation.
But I am bucking the system. I am bugging the daylights out of my husband, calling and e-mailing him incessantly. He is going to rue the day he made me an app.
Human contact is necessary and pleasant. I look forward to the return of the day when a doctor touches his patient, a banker greets a customer by name and recalls that the customer never bounced even one check in 25 years, and a husband has a seat at the dinner table and wants to hear about his wife’s day, face to face, up close and personal.
Because these niceties and necessities make life worthwhile, they will never design an appropriate app for that.
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