Sometimes the onset of winter can provoke a particular type of witch-hunt. Upon discovering that they are sick, lots of people retrace all recent interactions in an attempt to pinpoint just which sniffling soul generously sent so many foul germs their way. Now, a new Facebook app is digitizing this process and taking the legwork out of it.
You might remember personal health remedy company Help, from its brilliant Help I’ve Cut Myself and I Want to Save a Life campaign, featuring bone-marrow blood-swabbing band-aids. Help’s latest venture is Help My Friend Gave Me the Flu , an app produced by Tool and Interactive Director James Cooper that narrows down the most likely viral culprits from all of your Facebook friends.
The app works by scanning for keywords in status updates, cross-referenced with geographical location, and other activity. For instance, if one of your friends has been posting late at night a lot, that sets off a red flag: This person might have flu-related sleep difficulties! Help My Friend Gave Me the Flu labels probable sickos as “Quarantine” risks, and singles out one “Prime Suspect,” if the evidence fits.
Whether it works or not, the app is bound to at least momentarily distract you from the fact that you are, at this moment, completely covered in mucus.