In the past I have talked about whether it is right to do something just because it is possible. I am sure we all know of examples and mine include everything from the selfie camera on a smartphone and the selfie stick, to the availability of devices that can be used for harm.
However, this week saw the announcement of another case of ‘why would you want one’. I may be old fashioned, but the idea of finding a partner in this world has always seemed to me to be a very personal thing.
I accept that people often start their friendship or relationship through a shared experience, but I have always thought of this as through some social or work activity.
Once relationships start to develop then other factors might come into play, such as other interests, holiday choices or even personal habits.
However, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I would let my refrigerator choose my date for me! And yet, with the advent of smart devices, you can now get a refrigerator that does just that.
With the right refrigerator comes a dating app that takes a photograph of what is on the shelves and compares it with other refrigerator photos to find your perfect match.
To start with, there are some obvious flaws in this approach. For example, what if the refrigerator is in a shared home or is stocked by an over protective mother?
What if you have the sort of job that takes you away during the week so that you only need basics for weekends? Or perhaps you prefer to eat out as you have such an active social life that you don’t get time to cook?
But more importantly, surely this approach brings dating to a new low. Surely, in choosing a new partner or date, people don’t put the inside of the person’s refrigerator as the top reason for going with someone.
Surely one of the great things about forming new friendships and relationships is the process of peeling off the layers to gain a better understanding of the person. If the refrigerator is going to decide for you based on its contents, what happens when expectations are not realised?
Do you blame the refrigerator or the person who filled it? Can you cheat with the app by putting things in the refrigerator that you think someone would like; even if all you eat is cheese sandwiches and ice cream?
If this were to catch on, then other gadgets could be added in. Perhaps the smart vacuum cleaner could tell how often you clean your house and for how long. Washing machines could tell you washing habits and your iron could tell if your clothes are creased.
However, while I was keen to dismiss all of this as part of my ‘just because you can’, a quick search on the Internet found countless people that will determine personalities from the contents of refrigerators, and there are even ‘fridge clairvoyants’!
My personal view is that such mechanisms may be OK if you are searching for a domestic help, but I believe that there is much more to building relationships than life in the kitchen.
So buy the refrigerator by all means, but leave the cold features for keeping food fresh, not for cold selection of partners. Remember that just because you can…