As human beings dissolve more and more into the bionic grid of the oncoming Singularity, we're finding that the devices and platforms tethering us to the hive collective offer a vast array of enchanting distractions. A glorious new digital tick has been developed, allowing the machines to tell you which human gave you a virus. Alanis Morrissette, here's your cue.
You're horizontal on the bathroom floor, looking a disaster as you're wrapped around the toilet, hoping to hold down that chicken noodle soup you just ate. There's no denying it: you've got the flu.
Naturally, in your feverish hallucinogenic haze you're racking your brain, trying to remember who you encountered recently that was sick and could've passed on the wretched illness. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a new app will do the detective work for you while you fight the heaves.
For Facebook friends suffering from the flu, "nothing will make you feel better like finding somebody to blame." That's the finger-pointing promise of "Help: My Friend Gave Me The Flu," a new Facebook app that helps users figure out which friend passed the influenza bug on to them.
First, the app scours your Facebook feed for any posts relating to flu-like symptoms or travel details suggesting places where one could contract the flu. It then cross-references that information with the people you're mostly likely to see, then provides a list of the most likely offenders, ranked in order of likelihood of being your infector. For an added touch, the suspects are highlighted in bright red, labeled with the word "Quarantine!"
Naturally, this is more of a novelty than a digital-sleuth bug-chaser. The number of people we encounter daily is nearly inconceivable, and very few of us keep our real-world interaction limited to those we associate with online. So while it may be a fun app, it's essentially a useless digi-toy.
The flu is no joke, however, and avoiding the ill this time of year can save you a whole lot of grief. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”