From Pine View Farm

There’s an App for That 4

Then again, maybe not.

At Psychology Today Blogs, Nir Eyal explains why those smartphone programs that promise to change your life probably won’t.

Afterthought: Map of bike ride

I do have one app that might fall in this category. It tracks my bike rides via GPS and tallies up the distances, speeds, and so on, and can map them on Google maps. (When I use it is the only time I turn on the phone’s GPS.)

It does increase the enjoyment, but it doesn’t tell me when or where or how far to ride.

Ex Post Afterthought:

Also, it does not phone home to anyone.



  1. George Smith

    July 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Neglects to mention why many people put in Facebook accounts. The pressure in media, and universally, to have a Facebook profile or be labeled out of it. That’s a “hafta,” a taking away of choice. Younger people, it seems, are not nearly as fond of Facebook, perhaps that being one of the subconscious reasons. There are a lot of “haftas” on Facebook, many of them revolving around what you must do to keep nuisances and annoyance out of your, ahem, “news feed.” Anyway, good column, but I go to the mixed market everyday and see that apps and smartphones are definitely not transformative. Everyone has it but they’re still stuck in the no opportunity economy. You can leverage your smartphone and apps to boost yourself only if you’re already in the top rungs. The technology only leverages those with capital, not individuals in the mean, who are only grains of sand, or points of data to be herded. 

  2. Frank

    July 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Very true about the pressure to assimilate yourself to the Zuckerborg.  I do some web stuff for a locak political organization and get to watch local candidates come and go.


    They all have to have Twitter accounts, FB pages, and websites.  The websites are a hoot–almost all of them are pure flash, something that might be created on Wix–looks good, but crap underneath, sort of like some of the candidates, but fast, flashy, and cheap.  If you are blocking scripts, all you see is an empty page.


    I know what a mixed-up market is, but what’s a “mixed market”?

  3. George Smith

    July 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, I became familiar with the Wix-type free webpage app just as you mentioned. Someone directs me to a link and it’s blank. And explaining to them that script-blocking within browsers renders their work completely invisible is not something they understand. I’m becoming more convinced there’s a growing market for books and advice on how to be hostile to social media, how to cleverly behave badly in cyberspace, and pointing out malicious programming as a growing staple of American mega websites.   

  4. Frank

    July 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Heh.  Balloon Juice was down for maintenance early today because it was infected.


    I did not start using script-blockers until that horrible monstrous distasteful no-good MeeBo bar began to infect newspaper websites after Google bought MeeBo.  Now I wouldn’t want to do without them.


    Those folks who call themselves “web designers,” then do flash websites, are nothing more than script-kiddies with resumes.