For those of you who STILL don’t have Valentine’s Day plans but want to take hold of this opportunity to do something truly terrifying, you might download the free, scary, incredible kind of crazy, Swedish app Rebtel Re:Beat.
According to the company’s spokesperson, Re:Beat is “a new way to declare your love that’s far more personal than a card, a box of chocolates or even roses.” What does it do? The app records your heartbeat (!) and sends it as a text message (!!) to whomever you choose (!!!).
So they’re right … in a way. (But on the other hand, isn’t it only really more personal to YOU? Because it’s YOUR heartbeat? This is like the time my best friend’s ex-boyfriend “gave” his much-loathed secret middle name to her as a Valentine’s Day “gift.” This isn’t supposed to be just about YOU!)
Re:Beat captures your heartbeat in one of two ways: either by “taking” your pulse as you hold your finger over your phone’s camera lens (a process that feels terrifying and, in my experience, does not work), or by you manually pressing the “heartbeat” button each time you feel your own heart … beat. This is tougher than it sounds, and weirder, and probably the whole time you’re doing it you should be thinking, “why am I doing this?”
The app (manually) measured my heartbeat at 62, which is lower than the truth, because I couldn’t keep jabbing my phone quickly enough to match my actual heart rate. So if I sent it to someone, I could say, “See? Without you my heart slows to a death knell, my body literally refuses to pump blood if you’re not within eyesight, help me, call an ambulance.” Or I could pick one of the phone’s pre-set messages, which include “my heart beats for you,” “wishing I was there,” and, my favorite, “I’m just a heartbeat away.” Right behind you!!! In your tub.
Agh, even the screen shot is scary. I’M JUST A HEARTBEAT AWAY — this is something the TV cops would tape to one of those clear evidence-gathering boards. Please, let’s not let bodily function measurements be a new thing we send each other. I cannot possibly withstand it!!!!!!