Anything and everything is going digital at a staggering and frightening pace, so why not relationships? Yeah, you can be “in a relationship” on Facebook and feel all high and mighty in the face of your single friends, but a new iOS app called TheIceBreak aims to be a social network exclusively for you and your special someone. That way you can be all mushy without driving everyone else you know absolutely insane, in theory anyways.
TheIceBreak borrows a lot of its main features from Facebook, features which generally sound like they could be Facebook features in some not-so-alternate universe. These include “Icebreakers” which are questions designed to spur conversation, “Moments” which are essentially in-app text messages, “Date Night Coins” you earn by capturing “Moments”, and a “Relationship Wall” which is exactly what it sounds like (essentially in-app text messaging). The idea is to encourage you to start sharing more of yourself with your partner, particularly when you aren’t physically near each other.
Of course, the real fun is in the stats. I love stats as much as –if not more than– I’ve loved any person, so why not add them to my relationship, right? I’m sure no one will get jealous. Every week, TheIceBreak asks you to rate various aspects of your relationship and then compares them against previous weeks so it can tell you how well your week is going, as if you don’t know already. Also, while the site’s literature is a bit unclear on the specifics, you can apparently level up. I might be more inclined to shell out for a nice dinner if I might stand a chance of leveling up, but is that a good thing? Also, that totally sounds like a reference to some weird slang for a sexual favor, doesn’t it?
Easy pot-shots aside, the app is obviously aiming for more communication between couples, which I don’t think anyone is going to argue is a bad thing. The question is, could this approach actually edge out healthier methods of communication or worse, quantify the wonderful benefits of being in a relationship with dirty, meaningless numbers? Probably not, but maybe. In any event, it stands as an extremely cheap (it’s free) alternative to any sort of couples therapy and it can’t hurt to try, unless it does. As for me, I’ll just continue to wall myself off from all communication, digital or otherwise, so I can bottle up my emotions until they distill, and then drink them to excess while I cry silently to myself in the cold, dark recesses of my dysfunctional numbness. Also, they don’t have an Android app yet, so there’s that too.
- Find His Porn, a decidedly creepier relationship technology
- A great way to use technology to make a bad breakup even worse
- My fleeting relationship with the McRib, which may have benefited from this app