By Zach Stafford, @zachstafford
10:10 PM CDT, March 12, 2014
Over the past few years, an explosion of smartphone apps have arguably made our lives a tad easier. They help us get a cheaper cab, make it seem totally normal to photograph all your meals or even monitor how well you are performing in the bedroom.
Apps seem to be our new best friends, our secretaries and even our own personal chefs. But could one eventually become your significant other ... or at least make him or her better?
That is what the newest app on the block, BroApp, is trying to do.
On the surface, BroApp looks like the saving grace for any boyfriend who has issues communicating with his significant other throughout the day.
The app allows a bro to preprogram text messages to send to his girlfriend at different times of the day, ensuring the bro-user always looks like a considerate and communicative partner.
Sounds smart, but does it actually work? According to one of the co-founders it does.
"We created a demo BroApp (we didn't even have a name for it at the time!), just for our use, that sent a single daily check-in message," he told the "Today" show. "And was very well-received by our girlfriends. ... We used it successfully for three months as a trial and our partners had no idea."
Translation: For three months their girlfriends were dating an app, not just their boyfriends.
At first I was appalled. What makes romantic relationships so special is that you have a person, or persons, willing to take time out of their day just for you—even if it is just a text. So if you need BroApp, or something similar, I'd say you probably don't need a partner.
But then I thought some more about it.
We have become a society that likes human interaction less and less. According to a TimeInc. study, more than half of all Americans prefer digital communication to talking in person.
Even our dating has become more and more technology-focused over the years—more than a third of marriages are between people who met via a dating website.
In 2012, Pew Research Internet Project published data finding that teens text more than 100 times a day, and just a few years prior, the Kaiser Foundation found that people 8-18 years old spend more than 7.5 hours a day on a form of media.
Due to our phone-obsessed society, the development of something like BroApp should not be surprising; hell, I am surprised it took this long.
We should look at BroApp, and other apps like it, as just another app—like Uber or Yelp—that helps our days become a little more efficient.
If anything, our annoyance or immediate dislike of something like BroApp may just show us how deep we have fallen into this digital technology rabbit hole.
If a text message is your only evidence of whether your partner is good, maybe it's time you put down the phone and spend some one-on-one time with someone not named iPhone.
Zach Stafford is a RedEye special contributor.
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