Where The Rubber Meets The Road

15 02 2011

There’s no shortage of smartphone apps, and it seems like developers are becoming more and more creative in envisioning ways that mobile devices can be of assistance. For example, earlier this month the Roman Catholic Confession pp debuted, bringing penitent believers one step closer to forgiveness. The app received more media play than any I have seen, with everyone from priests to pagans chiming in.

But yesterday’s debut of the NYC Condom App has just trumped confession. While the app itself obviously has no prophylactic value, it will direct Big Apple consumers to providers of free condoms.

And no doubt provide plenty of fodder for late-night TV comedians.

At first blush, it would seem that maybe the NYC Condom App (sponsored by the Health Department) could sell banner advertising to the Confession App. I mean, it seems like a natural. Caress and confess. But this will never happen, because the Roman Catholic Church dogma bans contraception in the first place. Blatant contradiction. Business opportunity quashed.

The best for which we can hope is that phones alphabetize these apps as “condom” and “confession,” and that no new C-apps come along to interfere.

But while the Health Department’s efforts are laudable (from a public health perspective, of course), I have to wonder how many people in the heat of the moment will think to grab their iPhone. “Hold on a sec, honey. I need to check my phone. And then I’ll be back in 10 minutes. I hope. Stay right here.”


My hunch is that this app requires its users to be compulsive planners. How many of the free condom providers are going to be open 24/7 anyway? And are they going to be conveniently located? If an amorous NYC dweller needs to hail a cab, it could be a deal breaker. Technology could inadvertently send you to an early cold shower.

Or just throwing caution to the wind.

Never mind the fact that a married person could have some serious ‘splainin’ to do if his/her spouse sees this app on her/his phone. I suppose that’s why we have security codes for our phones, right?

The irony was also not lost in that this app was released on Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to love (and possibly love-making?). How sneaky, that Health Department. Someone there must have been a marketing major. Everyone make a note to see if there is a dip in the birth rate next November.

Let us all hope, however, that in their quest to promote not more, but safer, sex, that men and women do not remove said prophylactica from billfolds and purses, and rely instead on a phone app. Or else NYC could witness a surge in live births the likes of which not seen in many years. In other words, in an effort to promote awareness and protection, it could cause people to drop their guard. Relying on an app to be your conjugal safety net could be risky business. While the Confession App can take you closer to God, relying solely on the NYC Condom App might bring you closer to parenthood. Or other unexpected souvenirs of the occasion. Put simply, the app has little value without a planning horizon.

Still, the novelty of it all has not been lost on me, nor their sincere hopes to address a serious matter with an implicit dose of humor. After all, we can now add one more thing to the ever-growing list of wants and needs that can be managed from our phones.

Yeah, now there’s an app for that, too.

Dr “Love Is The Drug” Gerlich




One response

15 02 2011
Tweets that mention Where The Rubber Meets The Road: The NYC Condom App is ballooning in popularity.... -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Prairie, leigh browning. leigh browning said: Where The Rubber Meets The Road: The NYC Condom App is ballooning in popularity…. http://fb.me/Em00SUF2 […]

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