It’s been about a week since the official launch if Twitter’s “Vine” app in the iOS app store; so here’s a quick review of how it may affect your marriage. This review is NOT a review of the app for it’s user interface, technical, or design attributes. This review is meant to help you answer the question of whether it will help or hurt your marriage. We probably won’t post a ton of app reviews, but in this case I think it’s relevant and important.
What is it?
Basically, Vine is Twitter’s video equivalent of Instagram. It allows users to easily share 6 second videos across social networks in a fun, snappy format. Videos of those you follow then appear in your Vine feed much like images do in Instagram. Additionally, hashtags can be used to categorize and aggregate similar videos.
My job requires me to be sharply in tune with web trends and technology. So naturally I was among the first to give the new Vine web service a try. Here’s how my experience progressed:
- It’s Delightful – it’s so fun and easy to create and share videos, and people are so creative with the format!
- It’s Useful – I realized it could be a cool new way to engage people online (cool, but *sigh*).
- It’s Distracting – after the novelty wore off, I was just annoyed by yet another social networking time suck. (*sigh*)
- SHEER HORROR – Wait, anyone can post anything!!? The potential for crowd-sourced video porn is terrifying.
It’s no secret that smart phones have made it easier than ever to access explicit content. The barrier of entry into sexual addiction is lower than ever, and that barrier is depleting more every day.
Porn devastates marriages, and when it’s easier to access, it’s easier to hurt marriages. Thus, the reason why I’m writing an app review on our marriage blog.
Perhaps most frighteningly, innocent hashtags (like #food, or #sports) can be used to automatically play crowd-sourced porn for thousands of unsuspecting viewers. (*sigh*)
Vine is well aware of the issue of porn on their fledgling service, they just haven’t figured out how to avoid it. In fact, Apple made it clear that porn made available through the app means that it breaks it’s app store policy.
To use, or not to use?
If you or your spouse struggles with sexual addiction in any way, you’ll want to steer clear of this app. In fact, if you’ve broken sexual addiction, you’ll still want to steer clear. If you or your spouse have never had a problem with porn, you may still want to avoid it.
Here’s why (and no, it’s not just because I’m a prude): if you’re struggling with any addiction, you need to cut off all supply of the addicting substance. Otherwise, you’re just counting the days until your next relapse. You wouldn’t buy a recovering alcoholic a fifth of whiskey for their birthday, would you? In fact, if you were a close friend, you’d try to help them avoid tempting situations any time you could.
Vine is a cool concept, but it increases ease-of-access to pornography. If sexual addiction is a struggle in your marriage at all, be very cautious over what’s at your fingertips. Also, be mindful of who else may have access to your device – i.e. kids. Imagine this app in the hands of a curious 13 year old boy? I’m no parent, but unregulated access to a smart phone for young kids seems like a recipe for disaster.
The app is awesome, and I believe it will have real staying power in our social world. But until developers figure out a better way to guard it’s users from porn, it’s probably best to pass it up.
A few more interesting articles on Vine: