December 17, 2011

Modesty In A Social Media World

New "love" app out of the U.K. called I Just Made Love (IJML).
This one is not for the modest or privacy-conscious.
The app is available for download for both the iPhone and Android.
Essentially, people are going out and using location-based services (i.e. GPS) and self-identifying their love-making--act by act. We're up to 194,000+ already!
Not to be gross, but the app lets people not only report on doing the act and where, but also using check boxes with icons, you can identify the details such as the context: couch, indoor and outdoor, as well as how: 5 top positions--which is way more information than I care to hear about.
In our often hedonistic society, there are of course, other services such as Four-Square that lets you broadcast where you fulfill other bodily pleasures like eating, drinking, and shopping.
Personally, I don't care to know what people are doing or where--too intrusive for my liking. But I can see why others may want to use FourSquare type apps (not IJML or who knows) with friends and family who may want to connect in this way--like to meet for Happy Hour at Old Town.
And certainly, marketers are interested in capturing valuable personal information on what you are doing, where and with whom, and using it to drive their sales and profits. Maybe you get a coupon out of it. :-)
With the love app, it seems like some people want to brag, appear the Don Juan, raise their "macho" social status, or just perhaps enjoy being exhibitionists.
From my perspective, the main pro of this app is to promote the concept (not the act itself) of love over things like war, hate, discrimination, etc.
Even with that being said, it seems like some things are just better off left as intimate moments between you and your special other.
Interesting to me, this topic of disclosure came up big time in the Orthodox Jewish world with the publication in the Yeshiva University Beacon (5 December 2011) of a much written-about article entitled "How Do I Even Begin To Explain This," where a frum Jewish girl from Stern College discloses her story of illicit rendezvous in a hotel room with a gentlemen and at the same time the "walk of shame the day after."
The dichotomy between her "Orthodox" beliefs and her "secular" actions and her publication of this article in a Yeshiva newspaper and her explicit description of sexual deeds is a perfect example of the tear in our society between privacy and social probity on one hand, and the desire or need to share and be "free" of all constraints on the other.
As a social commentary, we are at a point where it seems that nothing is real unless we share it with others, and that can be good or bad--it can lead to greater wisdom and societal advancement or it can lead us to do things we shouldn't do, are sorry we did, and where we feel shame afterwards.


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