The Love App Environment

Love Alarm, a Korean show, on Netflix, is like social media meets science fiction – Ghost in the Shell, for the romantic drama genre. The titular app works on various indicators like heart rate, respiratory rate, perspiration, and so forth.

Love Alarm and Heart Shield are fictional apps that operate like the mind and the heart are a computer or a phone, that needs cyber defense. The Love Alarm can be held back, from matching two people, by another software – a Love Alarm plug-in, from that app’s developer ecosystem.

The core debate at stake is what is love? And who gets to define it? An app? Physiology? Hormones? Society? If someone thinks they are in love, are they not in love? It’s an ongoing discussion, from Facebook, to Tinder and Grinder, to The Circle, to now, Joh-a (Love, 좋아) Alarm.

It is said that ‘perception is reality’ but if someone’s circumstances cause their perception to be unreliable, or if a group of people are mislead or misinformed, is what they perceive truly reality? This of course begins to segue into philosophy, medicine (including psychology), sociology and ethics.

I’ve been on the fence about whether I would support a Love Alarm, if it were a real app. On one hand you’d be able to figure out if you truly liked someone, and weren’t just fascinated or intrigued by them. On the other hand, as the show aptly illustrates, there would be many societal and cultural hang-ups and drawbacks, to having such a software say for sure, scientifically, whether two people actually like each other – or not.

Pratfall – A Circle, Week 3, Epic

Rebecca was just far too blown away, by the reveal of a known liar, for her to win. Seaburn picked the confirmed catfish, over an actual ally. Who cares if Adam was in love with Rebecca, a catfish – or not? That’s the whole point! Why would Seaburn go in as a catfish, if he couldn’t handle the real-life connections, that would naturally occur, if his catfish persona succeeded? Seaburn really messed up here.

Seaburn is really young and has only been with his current girlfriend, in his entire life, it seems. He wasn’t in the dating scene for very long, before he met Rebecca. Seaburn’s flirtation game was very weak, on the show. But at least he wasn’t as bad as Adam. The game was really difficult for Alex – and what Adam thought was flirting. Alex also had a huge inferiority complex over his perceived hotness level. It was Adam versus Alex.

Seaburn even talked to the Circle differently, from how he talked to everyone else – in real life. He was much more dialed in, than anybody else. He wasn’t lying – he truly believed in what he was saying. He based Rebecca on his actual girlfriend. It’s a long-term relationship and he hasn’t had many relationships. Everything fit for Seaburn. Plus, people inexperienced at flirting, usually oversell it.

The Super-Influencer was the sole vote for blocking one candidate – and that vote was allowed to be anonymous. The rankings also weren’t revealed immediately – giving people ample time to blow up their games. This situation also gave people more time for a video message to give someone more rope to hang themselves with – just like how Antonio destroyed Mercedes’s game. The twist was that the Super-Influencer had to do the blocking in person, an interesting downside.

Sean was the fakest one, out of the bunch. She laid it on so thick and she was fishing for so many compliments. It’s a game show; get over it. Sean came in late; did she really think she could win? Keep telling yourself you’re the real winner, Sean. Her whole story was one giant eyeroll. She was a one-dimensional character: she absolutely reduced herself down to a single concept.

Like I said, last week, the new people were added too late – for it to matter, for the audience to even care. This made for an easier set of strategic decisions, for the original cast. Once production added Ed and Bill, viewers were just exasperated. There was no way for these rookies to win. They were like mere trainees, up against established singers, who had already debuted. Sean, Ed and Bill were no more than early boots and cannon fodder. The Circle suffered from too many fresh players entering, too far along, in the game.