As we all know, the iPhone has thousands of apps for productivity, multimedia, news gathering, finance, and other mature, sophisticated pastimes… blah, blah, blah. But if we were all so refined, there would be no need for games and fart apps. Thank goodness that’s not the case.

So in the spirit of crude amusements, let me tell you about one of the odder bits I found in the App Store: Esteem Aid. According to the product page, its simple premise is that “some of us just need a shot in the arm to get us going.” So when you need a little pick-me-up, you just shake the phone, and the display shows affirmations and compliments designed to boost self-esteem.

I know what you’re thinking: "What kind of loser — ahem — I mean, poor soul would need this type of artificial flattery?" Well, apparently that would be me, because I downloaded this thing, and now find it to be one of my favorite free apps this week.

Actually, I first looked at Esteem Aid because some of the messages are downright hilarious.









The program fishes around in your contacts and attaches names to messages like “Aunt Esther thinks you are hot” (which is both funny and mildly disturbing). The strange thing is that even the straight compliments — such as “You are AWESOME” and “Keep up the good work” — do put a smile on my face, which makes me feel good. And my self-esteem is just fine, so I can’t imagine what this could do for those who really need the pep talk.

I trolled the Customer Reviews section just to see what others thought of this weird little program. I think my favorite comment has to be the one titled “Good with food,” which said, “I held it in front of a submarine sandwich and it said, ‘You’re my hero,’ so it seems fairly accurate.”

As for me, I’m indulging in off-label use as well — like as a punchline or gag when I’m with friends. I even defused an argument by shaking all the love out of this thing until we both burst into laughter. Okay, so it’s not a groundbreaking app, but simple things can sometimes be fun. And with 60+ “esteem-boosting messages,” there’s plenty of corny entertainment to be had.


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