Die with Me is the latest app software developers have created to give credence to the idea that we live and *die* by our mobile devices. This new app offers users a “chat room” when their phone has less than 5% battery left, making it possible to cope with total strangers over the horror of being on a sinking, battery-depleting ship.
It’s pretty funny.
As Motherboard reports, the app was developed by Dries Depoorter and David Surprenant, Belgium-based app developers. “We wanted to do something positive with a low battery,” he told the site. “And now we see people happy with a low battery having low battery conversations. We had so much fun creating this.” The app has been in development since 2016, says Motherboard, and is now available on both the App Store and Google Play.
In a promotional video for the app, the calm, soothing narrator discusses, “…[dying] together in a chat room on your way to offline peace.” It reeks of irony, and begs the question, “are we too reliant on smartphone technology?”
The answer should be obvious, but is that necessarily a bad thing?
Human interaction and mindlessness aside, can’t we argue that smartphone technology is certainly good for us in many ways? We’re able to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world — in seconds. Not to mention the fact that we don’t have to use actual, physical maps anymore. You can input an address right into Waze or Google Maps and instantaneously be shown how to get there. You can also pay your bills in a few clicks, and travel-free; you can even pay your taxes! And you can’t tell me that having the ability to scope out restaurant reviews before dining isn’t one of modern life’s great bonuses. “I appreciate the tip, and I do respect your opinion, but both Foursquare and Yelp are heavily disagreeing with your assessment of that pizza joint over off Main.”
And obviously the free-flowing, mass transit network of idea sharing has plenty of upside. One could even argue that the virality of certain videos posted to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, have played major roles in starting national conversations and shaping national policy.
But then what are we giving up? They say knowledge is power, but if it’s at the expense of human connection and empathy, is it worth it? According to a recent CNN poll, Americans devote 10 hours a day to screen time. We’re addicted to the dopamine it seems. And what is that doing to our attention span? How do we handle silence or boredom? Can we sit through a 2 hour movie anymore? Is there anything to gain from striking up a conversation with the complete stranger sitting next to us? And how well do we even know ourselves? Do we give ourselves the appropriate time each day to reflect or sit with our own thoughts?
Smartphone technology says that we don’t have to. It tells us that the whole world lives inside our phones, and that all of life’s questions are simply a Google search away.
Which leads us back to “Die with Me” — the new app that provides us a support system for when we’ve drained our personal portals to the universe. Those tweets aren’t going to write themselves, and there’s no way we’re starting our cars without an estimated time of arrival or a Spotify playlist that will appropriately soundtrack the commute.
These things require battery. Our lives require battery. And what happens when that dies?
Thanks to KwikBoost, we’ll never know.