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Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 11/ 4/2009

The wife app

By editors

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.

By editors  | November 4, 2009; 11:32 AM ET
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I support your sentiment and can only hope that we will come full circle and get back to human contact because it is sorely missing right now.

Posted by: jlw_red | November 4, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Make this woman a columnist!

Posted by: sarahsouth | November 5, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

It's just extraordinary that a grown man could act in such a way--threatening a relationship with such an extraordinary woman. Occasionally, boys just can't grow-up!
He with the most toys wins....

Shame on him.

David Percelay
Malibu, CA

Posted by: dpercelay | November 5, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Relax and stop bugging the man so much by calling all the time. As a man I can tell you it gets very annoying when a woman calls and talks about absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Lcem311 | November 6, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

To Lcem311:
Regarding your annoyance at having women call you all the time about absolutely nothing ---- is every word that comes out of your moth a gem? Nothing like a good, sexist generalization to cover all the bases.

Maybe you do not warrant meaningful conversation. Ever think of that?

Posted by: bonnie_marcus | November 6, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Better, the wife app comes free of fees."

Who are you kidding? The wife app is the biggest tax in the history of humanity.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | November 8, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

This woman can write. She is succinct and to the point. Most importantly she gets to the crux of an issue I care about and that is the depersonalization of our technological world.

How many times have I had a problem getting through to a human being when I want a simple question answered. I am transferred from pillar to post trying to figure out which number I need to press lest I be put in touch with the wrong department. It is MOST frustrating.

I wanted someone to answer a question on window treatments how did I get put in touch with the children's shoes department. Did anyone ever care about human beings ever? I thought they did. My father who sold paint in the 1950's would make deliveries himself just to satisfy a customer who needed an extra gallon of paint.

Those days are long gone. It's press 1 for this, 2 for that and 3 for the other. Then one hangs on and on and on and on while listening to supermarket music until they are put to sleep. All of a sudden a voice from the wilderness comes on to shatter your nap only to find out they put you in touch with the men's department. Oh well, there must be something I need there? Just why was I calling in the first place anyway? I have aged 30 years and my brain has turned to mush waiting and waiting and waiting to talk to one single person who tells me I need to speak with ANOTHER person.

Ah technology it makes life SO much easier don't you think?

Posted by: natalierosen1 | November 8, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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