Do you have a young child, or child-minded adult who just can’t deal with the harsh realities of being criticized for the content they choose to upload into the world? Does this individual not have the intellectual ability to understand that anything they release into the world is subject to being judged? Well fret not, because some well-intentioned entrepreneur$ have invented an app that allows the user to avoid growing up and remain a child indefinitely, like a real-life Peter Pan. Meet your new best friend: HeartMob™.
For anybody who ain’t know (I didn’t until a youtube video used it as a punchline to a joke), HeartMob is an app that “provides real-time support” to individuals of harassment. In short, it allows the “victim” of harassment to either have a third party report incidents of harassment for them, or to receive supportive messages from some sort of undetermined group of people who are also on the app. It also allows a third party to go to the accused harassment party and say “Hey guise, that’s not very nice. Don’t victimize this porcelain doll with your harsh words that aren’t blind praise. K, thanx!”
This might sound rather harmless on paper, but it is quite problematic for a few reasons that I’ll be more than happy to go over. First off, this app completely reinforces the harmful view amongst the social-justice crowd that one should never have to be held responsible for one’s own actions, or ever face any type of opposition to anything one chooses to do. The people who need, have funded, and are going to use this app are people who feel the need to inundate social media with their selfies, ideas, opinions, and creations, yet expect to exist as a special snowflake who is shielded from any type of criticism or feedback that doesn’t fall within their desired expectations. The problem with this, is that in the real world, if you present something to the masses, you need to be willing to receive any and all feedback that comes along with it. If you write something and don’t want to receive feedback, then don’t release that writing out into the public. Everything you create will inevitably be judged on some level by anyone who stumbles across it.
Now granted, when you put something out there, you generally aren’t expecting some jackass to give a vulgar response, completely devoid of any usable critical feedback, but that’s what haters and uneducated people tend to do. Unless you plan on doing something about the education and hater problem in the world, you’re going to need to learn to disregard stupid comments. When a musician releases an album, people will write reviews of that album, and not all of those reviews will be positive. If an artist creates a gallery of their works, there is nothing stopping somebody from referring to their work as “complete and utter shite”. If a director puts out a movie, somebody might give that flick a one-star rating, or perhaps give it half a thumb down. Negative criticism is what you need to be prepared to receive if you create something, then put it out there for everybody to take in.
Projects like this also perpetrate the narcissistic view that everything one shits out is worth plastering all over social media for the whole world to see. Do we really need every insecure person flooding the internet with countless selfies in a vain attempt to receive some form of empty validation that will never actually fill the void that coming to grips with reality provides? Ultimately, the intoxicating draw of all those thumbs up clicks ensures that the person who craves validation will continue to let their fragile ego hang in the balance of online acceptance. Nobody posts pictures of themselves because they want to receive an honest opinion. They post pictures in order to be validated, even if that validation comes in the form of complete insincerity. Obviously, when somebody who is posting for validation doesn’t receive praise, they get hurt and go on the defense, rather than merely moving on with their life.
This app isn’t a revolutionary, or necessary idea. It’s merely a response to the further infantilization of a particular demographic who are ill-equipped to handle the realities of life. It’s not a guaranteed right of an individual to be shielded from criticism or negativity. If you give your opinion in a public forum, you need to be willing to deal with any and all opposing opinions. The second I decide to publish this article, absolutely anyone can disagree with it or call me a “doodoo face” and my only course of action as an intelligent person, devoid of entitlement, is to continue on with my life. I am allowed to have an opinion, so others are obviously allowed to have an opinion as well. People who feel the need to voice opinions, yet can’t take criticism don’t seem to be able to understand this concept.
This app is a sort of funhouse mirror that projects a flattering image of the user, relieving them of the burden of ever needing to face the reality of what they actually look like. By being shielded from reality, you never see the truth, and thus never attempt to become the person you actually want to be. If you only surround yourself with people who lie to you about your looks, opinions, ideas, or art, and never accept any type of criticism, you never learn the truth. The truth may in fact be that you aren’t a very good writer, have terribly uninformed opinions, or are a narcissist who is a 4 to 5 (out of 10) at best. Being challenged is what allows you to grow, and either become better at a skill set, or at very least learn to take criticism, if not just ignore “haters” altogether. Instead of downloading this app, perhaps you should grow up, develop some semblance of self-esteem, and take the initiative to better yourself rather than expecting the world to lie to you and protect you at all times. I’m out.