New app for mak­ing vir­tual amends reeks of fake moral­ity

Daily Dispatch - - Dwae - By CELIA WALDEN

HOW many of the “I’m sor­ries” said over the past 24 hours have been heart­felt?

None of those kick­ing off my be­lated e-mail replies (un­less it’s ur­gent, three or four days is an ac­cept­able de­lay).

And al­though I as­sured my husband I was sorry not to be ac­com­pa­ny­ing him to that do last night, this wasn’t even slightly true: when he says the words “gala” and “auc­tion” all I hear is “dou­ble life sen­tence, no pa­role”.

Ba­si­cally, my own apolo­gies tend to be ei­ther a form of punc­tu­a­tion or a be­havioural tick not dis­sim­i­lar to clear­ing one’s throat.

Thanks to then new app Sorry, we can now scat­ter­gun our vir­tual amends with­out mean­ing a word.

But, oh, won’t it feel good! Not for the apolo­gee, who will be sent the equiv­a­lent of a Happy Face emoji in the place of a Thank You card, but for the Sin­ner in Chief, who gets to mag­nan­i­mously lay it all out there in just an­other form of virtue sig­nalling, with­out ei­ther hav­ing to look the per­son they’ve wronged in the eye or deal with any of the del­i­cate word­ing is­sues that make apol­o­gis­ing so la­bo­ri­ous.

I’m as­sum­ing that, like pre­dic­tive text, the app will have all the most ba­nal and heinous of­fences laid out there – sim­ply scroll down: “Sorry I . . . drank your birth date Cognac Prunier with my var­sity mates/ slept with your best friend/ for­got Mother’s Day/ used your tooth­brush to clean the bath­room grout­ing,” and that like the par­ent-prompted apolo­gies of a child, they will reek of in­sin­cer­ity.

How­ever, we know that the app will also al­low you to “ac­cept or re­ject” the apolo­gies re­ceived from friends and fam­ily, just as we will be able to “ac­cept and re­ject” those made by pub­lic fig­ures, which will be put to a vote. That part of the Sorry app I do like: just think how sat­is­fy­ing it would be to stamp a big red “DE­NIED” on all those “Pay As You Go” celebrity mea cul­pas. But only if, once re­jected, pub­lic fig­ures are forced to make amends . . . for their botched amends. Har­vey We­in­stein’s rather bizarre apol­ogy – in which he some­how man­aged to quote Jay-Z – would ob­vi­ously have been thrown back in his face, but then what? Shouldn’t he be made to go to con­tri­tion classes or at the very least burn all of his bathrobes? The Sorry app would let you, the viewer, de­cide – at least in your own head. What the app wouldn’t do – and what all the puffedup out­rage, in­sin­cere apolo­gies and fake moral­ity out there fails to do – is make so­ci­ety any kinder or more com­pas­sion­ate to­wards each other. Sorry. — © Tele­graph Me­dia Group Lim­ited [2017]

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