Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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Tech Talk

Nothing says romance like a smartphone


When marketing works, it really works. “Got Milk?” “Just Do It.” “Save Money. Live Better.” These slogans not only drilled their way into the brains of millions of Americans, they sold billions of products. In 2008, Apple — a company renowned for its design and branding — joined the pantheon of marketing taglines with its iPhone slogan, “There’s an App for that.” What made Apple’s catchphrase so powerful was the truth therein; iPhone users could find an application for everything from word processing to video gaming. Today the constellation of app possibilities continues to grow with Good2Go, a private messaging service designed to verbalize sexual consent.

Last year, when Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was publicly investigated for alleged sexual assault, the nebulous world of collegiate definition of sexual consent became a hot news item. Does sexual consent need to be explicit with those about to get frisky agreeing to a verbal contract? Or is a knowing, potentially inebriated smile good enough? As it turns out, many universities don’t have policies on the matter. This lack of a steadfast interpretation of consent leaves both universities and amorous individuals open to legal action.

Good2Go is the tech world’s attempt to solve this problem. Smartphone users who are about to seal to the deal can launch Good2Go, hand it to their prospective partner who enters their consent, answers their intoxication level, verifies their identity and let the fun begin. While the positives are obvious (both partners are protected through contractualization of consent and observation of drunkenness), the negatives are glaring. Besides the cold shower act of shoving a phone in front of your partner at go time, in the end, the app won’t protect you from legal action.

Of course something is better than nothing. Anyone who has spent five minutes in a car with a teenager these days knows that the next generation of consenting adults virtually never lets go of its phones. So an anti-romantic tool like Good2Go might actually be a viable tool. Plus if it can keep even a small group of users from making poor decisions, it’s done its job. CV

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. Follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb.


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