Coach Dating App Is A Real-Life 'Black Mirror' Episode & It's Low-Key Terrifying
When people would ask me what superpower I would choose if given the option, I used to always choose the same thing: I'd love to see into the future. But the show That's So Raven was the first thing that made me a little skeptical about the whole "being psychic" thing. Her being psychic only seemed to make things worse! Then, a conversation with my therapist during which she reminded me that knowing the future would take the joy out of the present really sealed the deal for me. Seeing the future would suck. But newly released dating app Coach.dating begs to differ.
In order to understand the way this new app works, you have to familiarize yourself with an episode of the spooky, futuristic Netflix show, Black Mirror.
I haven't watched the series, but from what I hear, it's supposed to be mega-creepy. In particular, there's one episode in Season 4 called "Hang The DJ" (already such a creepy name, like why is there a DJ who needs to be hanged? Ah!) in which people pay to be matched with potential romantic partners by an app called — wait for it — Coach, which utilizes something called "The System." The System is essentially an all-knowing algorithm that matches people up with others using algorithms much like the ones used by the dating apps we use today. There's just one difference: The System gives matches a link that tells them how much longer their relationship is going to last. Creepy, I know.
The episode features British actors Joe Cole and Georgina Campbell. They get together at a romantic date spot, and at the same time, they decide to count down from three to check their expire date. Their relationship is only expected to last 12 more hours. You can hear the disappointment in both of their voices when they read the expectancy out loud.
Throughout the episode, you see short flings like theirs and different experiences from couples who are projected to stay together for longer.
There's just one thing that makes The System creepier than real life. Free will is totally left out of the picture. The couples who are signed up for it had to date the people they were matched with for however long they were matched with them. Yeah, super creepy. It's a good thing it's only TV, right?! Wrong (well, kind of).
There's now a semi-real version of this called Coach.dating. The app is literally modeled to look exactly like the one on the show, and you can use it to "predict" how long you'll be with your current partner.
Basically, the way it works is that you go on the site, you click on the black ball that essentially looks like a more chic and digital Magic 8 Ball, and you're given a link. Once you've been given the link, you share it with your partner. This part is key because the app only works if you both have the link. When you both have it, you click and find how much longer you two lovebirds stay together.
To make matters worse, there's a time crunch. If you don't both click on the link in a timely fashion, the app will start downsizing on the amount of time you have left together. Also, if you or your partner decide at the last minute that you don't want to click on the link, the app will dock you more time together again. Seems kind of petty, if you ask me.
The good news is that, unlike TV, you still have access to your own free will, so you still get to decide how long you're going to stay in your relationship for — even if some app tells you otherwise.
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