Please Clap

In discussion, we talked about the differences between apps and browsers–and I didn’t even realize there were any major differences. I thought apps were just shortcuts and specialized versions of browsers… To be fair, I never really gave it much thought. That’s the point. They’re convenient and do what I downloaded them for. Not many people would choose a browser to do a specific task that an app can do more efficiently and more conveniently.

Sometimes I like to look through my friends’ phones and look at their apps. I like to see which ones they keep on their dock for easy access and which folders they group them into. I like to see how many pages they have and how they organize their apps around their phone wallpaper. You can learn a lot about someone’s day to day life just from the layout of their phone.

Speaking of apps, I read this VICE News article about this app created by a Chinese technology company that allows people to virtually clap for the Chinese president while he gives a speech. The app is appropriately named “Excellent Speech: Clap for Xi Jinpin.” You can earn points for the amount of claps accumulated and pit yourself against friends and family to see who is the most loyal to the Communist party (reminds me of the CrimZone app that let’s you gain points for attending sporting events). This is disturbing for a number of reasons, but it’s almost comical at the same time. Just me? With the increased integration of the Internet into our lives, I’ve noticed a shift in humor. It’s impossible to take anything serious without a popular meme to accompany it. I can’t tell if dark humor is a maturity thing, but I’ve definitely seen a rise of crude jokes in the past few years. I think dark humor has evolved into a coping mechanism. Maybe it has to do with desensitization since we are increasingly exposed to the horrors of the world? Maybe we’re too occupied with other things to care? I’m not really sure.

One thought on “Please Clap

  1. I had not heard about the applause app; it sounds comically creepy. But I would bet it has a lot of customers.

    I have also observed a rise in the dark humor over the past couple of years, especially over the past year. It reminds me of my days as a student, during the protests over the Vietnam war and civil rights. Such humor often acts as a vent for frustration, but also allows saying thing that otherwise might seem to be too blunt (or honest) to say. I think it is a healthy form of protest.

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