How to Kill Civilized Society in Two Easy Steps:
- Give everyone in society free and total access to say anything they want about anyone else without any possible chance of repercussion.
- Make it an App.
As I’m sure man of you have heard by now, a new App called Peeple will be released November, and you should be worried about that.
You may be thinking: “Why should I be worried about some app? I just won’t download it!” Sadly, that won’t save you.
Essentially, Peeple is an app that lets anyone in the world rate anyone else. Yes, you read that correctly, anyone. You don’t just rate other people who have signed up for the service. Any unwitting person can fall victim to online reviews. All someone needs to review you is your phone number, unless you’ve already been reviewed before, in which case all they need to do is state how they know you: personal, professional, or romantic. Imagine the terrible things people say in vicious YouTube or Facebook comment sections. Now multiply that by personal and individualized reviews of real life humans, not silly videos or pictures.
The CEO of Peeple says on her website that the app is for “positivity” and that it will do nothing but promote love and happiness and sunshine, and the whole world will start eating rainbows and pooping butterflies. They think it will be a chance to see how “great it feels to be loved by so many in a public space.” And she seems to genuinely believe it! (And also, she looks a lot like Holly from The Office. But I digress…) I think she’s delusional.
If any of you doubt for one second the dangers of such an App, I highly recommend you watch the hit TV comedy “Community” season 5 episode 8. Basically over a year ago the writers of Community foresaw what an app like this would do to people. Although it’s totally overdramatic and taken to the extreme for comedic effect, the social commentary is scarily on-point.
Lets set aside all of the problems inherent in rating apps (like selective reviews, in which the only ones who review are those who really love or really hate something, thus skewing data) and just look at the human aspect. Are we really ok with reducing what we think about a person down to a number? A few stars?
If you need any evidence at all that an app like this is toxic, just listen to this quote from the app’s creator, Julia Cordray: “It doesn’t matter how far apart we are in likes or dislikes. All that matters is what people say about us.”
Seriously?!?!? She thinks that what people say about is us is all that matters?! And this woman is creating a social networking app? If that isn’t the most unhealthy outlook on human value and self worth I’ve ever heard in my life, then I don’t know what is.