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Another Technological Leap Forward!

June 23, 2011

As you know, I am always on the lookout to identify new technology applications that will improve our lives.  And today we have a major!  It’s called ShameBeGone.  Interested already, aren’t you?

I couldn’t believe it when I read about it.  ShameBeGone is a service that handles unpleasant situations for you.  By the best method yet invented to arbitrate human differences—e-mail!

Let’s say you have a problem.  You forgot your mother’s birthday, kind of hard to do these days with Facebook and all.  Or maybe you want to break up with your  current partner and unfriending them didn’t send a strong enough message.  Or maybe you got roaring drunk at your nephew’s first birthday party and broke his new iPad and you feel bad.

All you have to do it tell the nice people at  ShameBeGone all about it and they will fire off an e-mail to the parties involved and voila!  Problem solved.

As the web site says:

Worry no more!
How it works:

You tell us about a situation that you just can’t deal with.
• You tell us what you’d be willing to pay to have it fixed.
• If we accept, we draft an email for you to send to fix up that mess.

You cut, paste and send—and then the shame is gone. It’s just that easy.

That’s the way it is in the techno world.  An e-mail is all it takes to fix everything.  And in order to make sure they get the e-mail just right, you can tell them how you want the whole thing to end.  To do that, you just check off the desired outcome. 




A kindly brush-off





Once you’ve described your problem and indicated the desired outcome, you then have to tell them what it’s worth to you to get the problem fixed.  There is actually a line on the web page that says “Tell us what you are willing to pay ______”

I am intrigued that the customer gets to determine the price.  That is a unique business model but I can’t help but wonder whether the ShameBeGone people have some sort of internal algorithm that pegs the amount of shame reduction they provide to the price you are willing to pay. 

I don’t know about you, but I’d be afraid to go cheap because you could well make matters worse!  And, by the way, if you make matters worse, you’re on your own.  The web site has a fairly all-encompassing hold harmless clause that says they aren’t providing legal, or any other kind of advice and they are not responsible for what happens.  So be warned.  If you pay a mega bucks to send an e-mail to your favourite reality TV star and your desired outcome is sex, you have no recourse if nothing happens.  

ShameBeGone Operators Are Standing By!

Although this is clearly a major leap forward in our effort to cocoon ourselves in technology and avoid actual real world interaction with other humans, it is clear that we still have a long way to go.  This technology needs to be available in an iPhone app and instead of e-mails, texts and tweets should be permitted. 

I envision different modules designed for different segments of the population.  For example, I think the parenting module would get a lot of use.  Instead of dealing with the kids in real time, parents could have ShameBeGone handle this unnecessary distraction from Facebook and Masterchef.  No longer will parents have to feel guilty by saying no.  Outsource it to ShameBeGone.  Desired outcomes could range from “Eat your vegetables” to “You’re grounded,” to “Find a new home.”

It would also be a blessing to children to be able to communicate this way with their parents.  After all, it’s rather stressful to have to face your parents and tell them that you are pregnant and/or quitting school or have been kicked out of school or arrested.  Desired outcomes could range from “You’re forgiven,” to “It’s OK.  Here’s a new iPhone.”

A Good Time for ShameBeGone

And that’s just the home version.  The workplace would be so much simpler if
ShameBeGone could handle all of our dealings with superiors, subordinates,
clients, customers and suppliers.

The more I think about it, the more I think that this application will solve virtually all of the world’s problems.  Instead of sending armies to invade each
other, countries could use ShameBeGone to send e-mails to each other expressing disapproval.  Instead of blowing things up terrorists could tell everyone what’s really bothering them and ShameBeGone would spin out an e-mail designed to generate the desired outcome.

There just doesn’t seem to be any limit to what technology can accomplish!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2011 6:23 pm

    I thought this was a joke until I looked it up. It’s bizarre but believable—I think people avoid apologizing because of, well, shame. And they don’t know what to say. I wouldn’t mind writing these letters myself. You’d need enough information and have to ask delicate questions. There are more offbeat companies than this making money out there!

    • June 24, 2011 8:16 am

      That’s the trouble–to write a good response you’d need to really understand the situation and the people involved and I’m not sure that happens in this case.

  2. June 23, 2011 6:25 pm

    I’m looking for a service to draft my comments on other people’s blog posts, also with a desired outcome in mind (e.g., “get the post author to reply to my comment” or “be put into the moderation queue”).

  3. Snoring Dog Studio permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:32 am

    Oh dear. What comedy and tragedy. The world has come to this? An inability to handle our own apologies and own up to our transgressions? Yikes. This is yet another area where technology usurps reason and humanity. How great do we all feel when we get a form letter of rejection for a job we wanted? Lousy. So, this idea is lousy, too.

    Wonderful post!

  4. June 24, 2011 2:16 am

    Hey…I’m signing up! Better to have someone else lie for you than you do it yourself. Then wouldn’t have to Google GuiltBeGone and have someone send a generic ‘begging your forgiveness’ email. -on your behalf. May be costly. Better than getting sued. In which case might be of service 🙂
    Great post!

  5. June 24, 2011 5:52 am

    You mean there really is such a thing and I looked it up and yes there really is such a thing. . It is not my nature to belittle people and so I fully apologize ahead of time. This is really technostupid. Can they get God to forgive my sins?

  6. jacquelincangro permalink
    June 24, 2011 1:36 pm

    I’m not sure which is worse, the people who are offering this service or the people who sign up for it.

  7. June 25, 2011 12:27 am

    It seems unnecessarily complicated and time consuming.

  8. June 25, 2011 4:17 am

    I’m in the minority here, but I just don’t feel the disgust. I love to write letters and love to help people write letters who aren’t good at it. I start by asking them to spill their guts any way they can and go from there.

    I don’t like the name ShameBeGone though I see the marketing perspective in a shady name—but that may end up working against them. Of course it can’t make your problem go away, of course you should deal with it yourself, etc. But the company is not dealing drugs or sex slaves—they sound like a couple of people who had an idea and are trying it out. I would market it more as a letter writing service and include tricky situations such as those regarding “shame” in my services. Times are tough out there so you can’t blame writers for experimenting. Is this that much different from a resume writing service? Isn’t it just as shoddy to mislead a prospective employer that you wrote the resume yourself?

    If people aren’t going to deal with a problem that needs to be addressed, and are semi-literate as many people are (just look at blogosphere) then I just don’t see what’s so awful about asking for help. This company is not charging a set price and state they don’t accept all cases, so they’re not scamming anybody. I also think it would be more effective to have the customer write the letter down on paper and mail it, if they can write.

    I wonder how they’re doing at it.

    • June 25, 2011 7:29 pm

      What you say makes sense and I’m all for the idea of someone using a professional to help them get their message across. What bothered me about the site was that it isn’t pitched as assistance with writing, but rather as problem solving by remote control–especially because you pick your “desired outcome” from a checklist. I think a lot of people see this as another example of technology depersonalizing relationships and oversimplifying life. In any event, based on your writing, I’m sure you could do a better job than anyone at that web site!

  9. June 26, 2011 4:06 am

    Yes, the way they pitched it is rather louche. They must have considered this. I just googled “letter writing services” and got 25 million hits, so they probably thought with that kind of competition they’d try something different. It’s going to appeal to an entirely different crowd. It’s a rather fascinating cultural offshoot—I’m almost tempted to contact them with a “problem” and see what they come up with. They could clean up their website and make it a bit classier but maybe this was all considered beforehand. Did you find this by accident or are they getting attention?

  10. June 26, 2011 9:30 pm

    Give them a try and see what happens–I’d love to hear the result!

    I read about this in a column on new things on the internet, so they are getting some level of attention.

  11. June 27, 2011 10:31 am

    * You tell us about a situation that you just can’t deal with.
    * You tell us what you’d be willing to pay to have it fixed.
    Isn’t that the Mafia’s business model?

    • June 27, 2011 4:40 pm

      I hadn’t thought of that you’re right!
      Desired outcome: “Sleeps with the fishes”

  12. June 28, 2011 10:50 pm

    It’s a good idea but i would question the morality of it.
    It is not the person speaking and it should be in tough situations

  13. June 30, 2011 1:14 am

    Just reading this made me forget my worries. I’m feeling better already.

  14. July 2, 2011 10:05 am

    I think this one belongs in the “What Will They Think of Next?” category, Tom…I wonder how long they’ll be in business?


  15. July 12, 2011 9:45 am

    LOL! Love your take on that odd service!

    I stopped by to thank you for your fun contribution to this week’s Limerick-Off. I post a new limerick challenge each week. Hope you’ll become a regular participant!

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