Calling all peeple … that’s right, with an “e.” A new app, Peeple, was launched on March 7, and was infamously dubbed “the Yelp for humans” in an article by Time magazine. The app provides a platform for reviewing people on a personal, professional and romantic level. Calling someone “first-rate” suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.
Why does one decide that such an app would be a good idea? According to the app’s website, forthepeeple.com, the purpose is to “provide you a safe place to manage your online reputation while protecting your greatest assets.”
The ultimate goal is for “character to be a new form of currency.” Question for clarification: character as currency is not the same as the selling of the soul, right? Paying for a good reputation — we’re talking borderline prostitution of the personality here, people … er, peeple.
The app brands itself to fall on the continuum alongside top runners such as the grandiose TripAdvisor app, where fellow travelers review vacation spots and leisure activities, or the lower key Amazon app where the average Joe reviews his latest Prime purchase. Judging by that scale, Peeple’s concept in and of itself teeters on the edge of inhumane.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t view myself as a product in need of a rave review, in hopes of a five-star rating and 140-character blob about my best features. Trust me when I say that I judge those aspects of myself plenty without textual proof and third-party verification of my disposition.
Many appear to agree with me, as evidenced by overwhelmingly negative app reviews and articles published since news of the app’s production was released back in October.
Co-creators of the app Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough did get a few things right. In response to the onslaught of furious reactions after the announcement of the app’s creation, Cordray and McCullough added several features to ensure protection and positivity.
The most comforting safety feature allows only those with profiles approved through Facebook to review others or be reviewed themselves. Additionally, negative reviews can be blocked or removed, though an in-app purchase grants access to the good, the bad and the ugly.
Wake up call, people. Is this really what we’ve come to? Are we so timid and technology-reliant that we need to read reviews of other human beings before we decide whether they are worthy of our ever-fleeting time?
In the rapid pace of today’s world, let us not forget the power of the spoken word, of liquid networking and casual coffee shop conversations. Go out there, meet somebody new and form an impression for yourself. You might even find that you enjoy it.