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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An inappropriate app!

The technological revolution knows no bounds. There’s an app for everything these days as your mobile phone or android can bring a whole world to your fingertips. Many useful but some are utter tosh. I was emailed about one app that you can download for immediate use on your android phone. This will one tell you if your child is gay!

It works it seems by asking you a series of questions about your child and based on your response it will give you a diagnosis. For instance it asks if your son prefers football to musicals or is your son careful when choosing outfits! Is your son a fan of Diva’s like Madonna or Brittany Spears? Most worryingly it seems that one of the tell tale signs is that your son takes a long time with his hair. Presumably the creators of the app have never had to worry about removing nits from a child’s hair? The question reflect more an interpretation of a simplistic cultural perception rather than an in depth assessment of how a child feels and relates to those around them. In my view it is dangerous and grossly in accurate. In a simple quiz similar to those of teenage magazines of the 70’s or 80’s the boxes are electronically ticked and a prognosis offered. Hey Presto!

What you are then supposed to do about it, I’m not so sure, perhaps there is somewhere a subsequent app that will sort that for you. However, I question the value of such an app. Why would someone not talk to their child? Can a parent not talk to their child and ask them how they feel? It’s a sad reflection on how lifestyles and values have changed when an app is seen as a replacement for real communications. The instantaneous nature of technology may be fine for processing a financial transaction however we’re talking about the human mind here, not a machine. A persons feelings are something deep that no app can get to the heart of.

I think that this type of simplistic questioning panders to ignorance and peddles stereotypical myths. Some may call this app homophobic. I don’t know whether it leads to prejudice against gays but it certainly doesn’t make for better relations between a parent and their child if a parent is stupid enough to take this type of advice above all others with something as important as their child’s sexuality. This app adds further ignorance which may well compound the initial ignorance of how a person’s child feels. Will it make a child feel better and resolve any doubts a child may have, (which is what I think is the key question about this app?) No!

1 comment:

Rory said...

For once, I am in total agreement with you Joe.