NOTE: As of Oct 7th, this app has been pulled by iTunes. See comments below.
In a world where laws are emerging requiring mutual “affirmative consent” in attempt to prevent or reduce sexual abuse, miscommunication or regretted sexual activities, I guess I should have guessed this app would surface.
The app is called Good to Go, and it is already drawing criticism. The app targets college-age adults in an attempt to create a pause before sexual activity so that both parties can agree to what is about to take place. Here’s the YouTube ad for the app:
When one of my readers, Tom, forwarded me information about this app, I found myself shaking my head for multiple reasons. But as a researcher of youth culture, I found the app fascinating, yet another exhibit of evidence that today’s young people are growing increasingly dependent on technology for communication… even about the important stuff.
It’s one of my growing concerns about this generation. Screen time replacing face-to-face time. The inability to understand social cues during interpersonal communication. A decline in intimate friendships.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen young people choosing screens for important communication. In my book Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, I highlighted an intriguing study where doctors compared face-to-face dialogue to communication through screens. In this study, researchers observed the effectiveness of doctors using computers to collect data from teenagers because “young people will type more on a screen than they will share face-to-face.” Doctors surveyed teenagers about subjects such as self-injury or feelings of depression. In face-to-face interviews, 52 percent of the students responded. That number went up to 69 percent when students could use a computer to respond.
“A teenager who is sad and maybe even considering suicide may be reluctant to tell a doctor about life-threatening troubles. But the same teenager is far more likely to tell a computer a secret that he or she would be hesitant to share with even a close friend, much less a clinician who may be a friend of the family.” (ABC News)
If teens are much more comfortable with screens, then maybe an app catalyzing important conversations isn’t such a huge leap.
What is your reaction?
JONATHAN MCKEE IS THE AUTHOR OF OVER A DOZEN BOOKS INCLUDING THE UPCOMING RELEASE, MORE THAN JUST THE TALK