Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
Ever wonder which of the friends in your group are toxic, both mentally and emotionally, for you? Well, look no further than the newest friend-ranking app, Pplkpr.
Designed by Carnegie Mellon University artists-in-residence Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald, Pplkpr is not only considered an app, but also an “art project.”
This app takes a list of your Facebook friends and allows you to track your physical and emotional characteristics when spending time with them in real life. For this to work, though, you need a heart rate monitor and a smart watch. The app then tracks your heart rate around those particular friends and links it to positive or negative feelings toward each individual.
Pplkpr not only tracks bad feelings, like who the user is most angry or sad around, but also positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement and arousal.
You may be wondering: If I don’t have a heart rate monitor, can I still use Pplkpr? Yes! The app works without the heart rate monitor, but you will have to manually tell the app that you felt scared or sad around your friend.
This app isn’t for the faint-hearted (no pun intended). Pplkpr users have said that they were told by the app to stop posting on their friend’s walls, or even to stop texting their friends. The app even showed a student she felt angry around her friend when she hadn’t even consciously noticed.
But should we really rely on technology to sort out which friends are good and which ones aren’t? That’s a debate for the books.
On one hand, sometimes having an unbiased party judge your friendships can give new insight, but at the same time, should people trust an algorithm instead of their instincts?
It would be fun to try out this app. Most times, people are clouded by their own biased view of their friends to see that the friendship is bad for them. We’re at an age where we’re still figuring out who we should trust, and who our true friends are. Maybe this app can help.