Wednesday WTF (Part I): There's an app for that!

Today's Wednesday WTF will be in two parts. I just couldn't narrow my wtf-ery down to one topic. Look for the second part later today.

Today's Wednesday WTF comes to you courtesy of the iPhone apps store. (via & via) There is, apparently, really an app for everything these days. New to the iPhone apps store, a purity pledge app, complete with a purity ring graphic you can display on your phone after agreeing to the app's purity pledge. WTF?

There are two ways to look at this: either it's intended for people who wouldn't have taken a purity pledge otherwise, only now it's delivered to them in this new and convenient format! or it's intended as an extension on the physical purity pledge/ring for the type of person who is already into the whole abstinence thing. Either way, it makes no sense.

If you're the type who has already chosen to remain abstinent until marriage, and you've already perhaps taken a "purity" pledge (and that's not even touching the plethora of issues surrounding the notion of "purity" as the absence of sexuality, but I digress) and would wear or already do wear a purity ring...why bother with the app? So you get an image of a purity ring to display on your phone. Whooo, how exciting. Also, isn't part of the point of the purity ring to A: "warn off" strangers or acquaintances that they won't be getting any with you, and B: remind yourself in the heat of the moment, when you see your ring, what you've pledged? How does this app do either of those things? Unless you walk around flashing your iPhone at everyone you talk to, or have a habit of constantly picking up and looking at your phone during potentially sexual situations. And if that's the case, you have a problem that goes deeper than meaningless apps and you should probably seek help for your iPhone dependency.

So what about those who have never been exposed to the opportunity to take an abstinence pledge? Do you really think that some random person, probably with fairly healthy sexual appetites as most adults have, is going to see a purity ring app and suddenly decide, "Hey, this sounds meaningful! I'm going to sign my name on the virtual dotted line and get a nifty ring graphic to show for it!" And if they do...how long do you think that'll last? Given that purity pledges fail to be effective even when promised by fervent believers1, do you really think Random Person is going to be swayed to celibacy by a freaking iPhone app?

And if you really do believe that...there's an app for that, too.

1. "Among those youngsters, 61 percent of the consistent pledgers and 79 percent of the inconsistent pledgers reported having intercourse before marrying", from linked article.

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