Moral Ap(p)titude

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion...
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!
— Robert Burns, To A Louse

I was, unsurprisingly, for those who know me even remotely well, playing around in the app store the other day. And yes, it would be fair to conclude there were downloads made that could be said to fall on the geeky side of - er, geek. Not that there's anything wrong with that, she says huffily, and retreats back to the fifteenth font design app for the week. 

It did get me thinking though. We spend a hell of a lot of time and effort updating our digital doppelgängers. 

Maybe we need to spend a bit more time downloading some apps for our internal wellbeing instead?

I have been absolutely gobsmacked this week by the number of truly extraordinarily craptacular efforts in the press from so-called 'intelligent' commentators (yes, you, Mark Latham). The temptation to simply make this a blog reacting to his idiocy was incredibly strong, and I had to literally bite my fingertips to stop them typing the words my brain wanted to see on the screen. 

But that would actually reinforce exactly what I'm trying to avoid. 

Our default setting globally at the moment seems to be if not Malice 8.1, then definitely Apathy 6.0 combined with a background program of Meh 2.2, soon to upgrade to 2.4. The apptitude store is running hot on downloads of Intolerance Is The Bomb, Spite, Keyboard Warrior, He Said/SheSaid, Fatty Fat Fat, and the perennial favourite, iSmug - a.k.a. finding something nasty to say about a public figure on social media, publicly.

I am no angel in this respect. I willingly take part in the early adopter's challenge of finding a new emotion to shred to pieces within the bounds of my psyche's screen. I would like to think though that most of the time I take a degree of responsibility for my actions, and am willing to press delete on the more morally reprehensible apps that make their way from hind-brain to heart. 

I think that may be what it comes down to for the most part. Our phones, our tablets, our laptops - they all have limited room for what they can store, so we are forced to dump the unwelcome or less useful apps that we end up with. Unfortunately, our far too human selves are capable of storing far too much random memory. And it's that very random - and usually useless information ('I remember that day he called me stupid, I'll get him back for that') - which keeps us bogged down, our system running too slowly for our own mental good.

I think it's time for a serious bit of silicon-free soul-searching. What internal apps can we just delete? A little bit less Bile for Mr Latham, perhaps.

Which may in turn lead to a hell of a lot less Shame being downloaded for many, many women around Australia. 

And for me? Perhaps 'I Told You So' updated.

Because 'Keep Your Trap Shut' clearly was a dud.