On the An Entirely Other Day blog, Greg Knauss discusses Romantimatic, an iOS app designed to "quietly tap you on the shoulder a couple of times a week, reminding you" -- if you are an "over-focused nerd" -- to "send a nice message to your significant other." As an over-focused nerd myself, this sounds like a great tool. To my surprise, the response has been negative by members of the nerd community.
I knew there would be some have-we-come-to-this tut-tutting. I mean, I’m not that oblivious. You attach software to the expression of romantic love, and some people are going to see it as cynical. We’ve wrapped code around almost everything in our lives, but deeply felt emotion is still supposed to be start-to-finish analog. You don’t put your anniversary on a calendar, because it means you’re a bad person who doesn’t care.
Except it doesn’t. It means you want to remember it. Your calendar is a tool and it helps you do the things you want to do. I see Romantimatic in the same light. If you’re not good at something and want to get better at it, a tool can help. Tools make things faster and easier and more reliable.
But the number of people who don’t agree — at least in the specific case of texting your sweetheart — has been a little staggering. Twitter is awash with “appalling” and “is this a joke?” and “this makes me feel ill”. And the most surprising members in the chorus of disapproval have been the nerds. Lots of nerds.
Maybe the bitters don't have anyone to say I love you to, and that's where the problem lies.
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