About an hour ago I finished an interview for a local television station. The anchor/reporter wanted to know what I thought about the new app called “Bang With Friends.” Before she called, I had never heard of it. The app supposedly lets you import your facebook friends and then send a secret message saying you would like to “bang” a certain person. If that person sends a secret message saying they would like to bang you, somehow you are each notified of that and you can “hook up.” I mean not just hook up as in talk or meet, but as in well, “hook up.”
In light of my work with divorced women, the reporter asked what I thought of the new app. I told her that I thought it was degrading, destructive and dangerous.
1. I think any woman who would offer her body up like that online is no different from a hooker. This app acts as the go-between (pimp) and the girl simply clicks a button rather than stand on the street corner waiting to connect. What are we coming to?
2. This is bad for individuals (mainly women — the creators of the app are 3 men). A woman who has such a low estimation of herself that she would do this, is sad. What about a person who has low self-esteem and is depressed and just wants to make herself (or himself for that matter) feel better about who they are? What kind of person is that desperate (or unable to form a real relationship) that she would forgo finding out what this person is really like before she shared that part of herself with him? I think that’s a sad and real possibility.
3. This is bad for current relationships if one part of that relationship sneaks around to hook up with someone they meet or connect with online. These kinds of liaisons rarely stay secret and the result can be the destruction of good marriages and good families.
4. This is bad for future relationships because it creates a false concept of what sex is and does in a relationship. Sex is a wild, fun, wonderful, intimate (and sacred) sharing between two parts of a committed couple. This Bang With Friends kind of sex takes that deep connection that happens when you have sex with someone you love and replaces it with something superficial, shallow and, in the end, selfish.
5. This is bad for our culture. Technology makes connections of all kinds easier. Some of those connections are good. Some definitely not so good. When the most intimate part of ourselves is shared fully and freely we are open and vulnerable in a deeper way than happens with just about anything else. Making sex into something completely trivial and transitory is. It might be temporarily pleasurable, but in my opinion it sort of degrades sex itself.
The whole thing is also dangerous in several ways. With the recent news about the government able to follow everything we do online, how long is it until someone hacks into this and does terrible things with that information. Blackmail? What about underage kids posing as someone 18 or older and getting involved with this behavior? What about the possibility of someone saying they want to hook up and then they change their mind? Would stalking and harassment follow?
In my opinion, this app is the epitome of someone appealing to the the desire for something wonderful and turning it into something cheap for personal gain. Sex in the right context with the right person can be amazing and wonderful. It can be an exciting quickie on a table or a long, leisurely fulfillment after an exhausting day. On the other hand, It seems to me, turning your computer into an online pimp service is unhealthy in the long run for the people who created it; those who promote it; and those who use it.