An Old App Idea

— a cross gender translation service

“Maybe I don’t actually want to.”

“You probably do, you just don’t remember to. It’s a hassle to send a message when you’re in the middle of something.”

Last week, I witnessed a car accident. A blue car turned right quickly and hit a car ahead.

‘Of course it was a guy. They really can’t text and drive at the same time–incapable of multitasking as well as women.’

It’s easy to develop a gender bias from small observations.

Many years ago, I developed a strong belief that men were incapable of messaging their girlfriends. I observed females getting upset at their male partners for not keeping them posted on things.

It caused strain in the cis relationships I knew of. As an outside observer, I saw a remedy.

‘Men are bad communicators.’ There was a lot of talk back then on how men were incapable of communicating. Whether it was feelings or where they were physically at a certain time, there was a belief that males were just bad at letting their partners know what was happening.

A method for men to keep in touch, to meet the attention demands of women, would alter dating worldwide. ‘They may want to show that they care, but they’re incapable of it because they get sidetracked, too focused on what they’re doing.’

Mobile apps were the craze at the time. Why not create an app to help men with their handicap? A push of a button before leaving the house and instant messages are sent to their partner periodically while they’re out.

‘What’s up?’ ‘How’s it going?’ Messages that don’t say much of anything but shows that they’re checking in–a way to communicate that they care.

I ran this idea across multiple people and they thought it was a good idea. No one thought it was bad. (Why would they? Why didn’t they?!) In fact, others built on top of it. ‘Maybe you can start a whole relationship off of it…hire someone to message, ‘babysit’ a partner via text conversation to maintain a relationship’

If it worked in Cyrano’s time, why not?

Finally I met a guy who suggested–“Oh I don’t forget to message. I just don’t care. I couldn’t care what ends up happening if they get upset.” He happened to be a few years older than those polled.

I couldn’t fathom that men, and relationships, work unsystematically. What about all that research that state how men aren’t good at letting people know how things are going? What about all that evidence that guys are bad at understanding small gestures of appreciation?

People, men or women, aren’t putting effort into things they find unimportant. If they complain about the result, they may wish the outcome was different. They may wish the relationship was perfect without any work, just as some people wish to be really good at singing without practice.

Naively, I thought people were telling me the truth. I assumed they were victims of their gender.

Looking back, I’m amazed how much I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

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