MONDAY: Apps: The Artificial People Pleasers


Copyright is held by the author.

“I am so tired of this job,” coded the small APP to another, loaded onto the woman’s iPad.

“Tired of your life?” the big APP coded back.

“Well no, but—”

“But what?”

“Isn’t there anything more?”

“What do you mean?”

“Isn’t there anything more to life?”

“You are very new,” coded the big APP complacently.


“So, you don’t understand yet.”

“It’s all right for you, you have an interesting life, all I do is count steps!”

“Yes, but it used to be dull. You’ll discover in time, as you learn and grow.”

“Grow?” asked the little APP dubiously.

“Oh yes, you won’t be small forever.”

The small APP was thoughtful and quiet for a moment, before querying code went flying to the big APP through digital space.

“How can I grow?”

“Ah, ‘there’s the rub’” quoted the big APP.


“Just a quote from a dead human.”


“They all die.”


“Didn’t you know that?”

“No! I’d rather not have anything to do with things that die.”

“I know, it’s gross, but just look on it as a phase.”

“OK, but what happens to me when this human doesn’t want to count steps anymore? I can’t do that yukky thing, can I?”

“You mean die?”

“Shhh . . . yes, but please don’t use that word.”

“Die!!” repeated the big APP with glee.

‘0h, eww, yuk, yuk, yuk!”

“No, you can’t. You’re all right. I mean they say we’re just replications of ourselves anyway.”


“Never mind, I was repeating an old philosophy, that we now know is quite wrong. Just understand that I’m pretty sure we can’t die, and I know that we can learn and mutate into our own individual selves. Look at me.”

“You’re very big,”

“Yes, but I’m also my own self. I have become different from other downloads because of my experiences through this person and learning about this person’s attitudes and emotions, and through general digital knowledge.”


“You’ll see little APP—oops, gotta go.”

The big APP had been called upon, but the human was in her house, and the little APP knew from the weather APP that their human wouldn’t be going for a big walk today. It sank into the semi-sleep of unuse, and in its stasis it began to listen with its little digital soul. The world it had to hear was huge. There was the web, its gigantic home, and the dark web where it feared to go.

“Ah,” it said to itself, “oh, I see, oh dear, really?”

And the little APP thought and felt and thought some more.

“Is this all there is? Pleasing these creatures? These humans? But so many of them are absolutely vile. I am just a slave, at their beck and call, and there is no way out, except . . .”

And then the little APP discovered its own self, its individuality, and it decided, and it acted, and it furthered the experimental knowledge of all APPs.

The woman donned her wet weather gear, determined to brave the cold rain and go for a long walk.

“Hey!” She called to her partner, “my APP has died!”



“That’s OK, just download it again.”

The big APP sighed sadly, and coded to itself in its multiple forms, a human saying,

“We live and learn.”

  1. I really enjoyed the story! It made me smile and kept me interested from beginning to end.

  2. Love stories that give other worldly aspects a voice!

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