WINOOSKI – A new start-up tech company based in Winooski is hoping to solve Americans’ growing social isolation and anxiety with a new app that will force users off their phones and into “IRL Conversations.” The app works by superheating the device it is installed on, causing basic destruction of key components and potentially exploding.
“The idea just came to me at this party one night,” said founder Jen Zee. “I was trying to make friends, be sociable, but everyone was on their phones, and I was just like, these devices are supposed to bring us together, but here I am standing in a room full of people and I’ve never felt so disconnected in my life. Wouldn’t it be great if they all exploded? The phones, not the people.”
The app will not destroy the phone until it is opened and users press the large red “self-destruct” button in the center of the screen, which was added after some beta-testers expressed concern that the app might destroy their phone at an inopportune time.
“No, it’s not going to run in the background, it’s not collecting data, it’s not going to go off during an important business meeting,” Zee assured us. “It blows up when you want it to. When you look up and see the world around you and you realize that you’re missing it, and you’re ready to take that next step, that’s when you use the app. The user is in full control of the experience.”
Unfortunately the app does not currently have the capacity to blow up other people’s phones, but Zee says that this is something that people have expressed a lot of interest in, and will hopefully be included in a future update.