I have this brilliant idea for a website (I’m not entirely sure if its original). Its primary purpose is to remove the ackwardness of asking someone how their boyfriend or girlfriend is going only to be promptly told they broke up 3 months ago, thus essentially moving gossip into the 21st century. Its secondary purpose would be to help singles determine who else is single, so they don’t waste time trying to spade someone who is already spoken for.
If you haven’t thought of it by now the system would consist of a register of people and all the current active relationships. While it would be impracticle and difficult to run the system far a large region of the population, such a system would be significantly more maintainable with a more restricted set of the population. So it could work within the context of school or church communities and potentially at the university or work level.
The way I invisage it working is somewhat like a Wiki. People who are in the know, or have heard a rumour can place a link between two people in the system. Other people can then adjust and manipulate the relevancy of that link. So if two people broke up one person would come in and change it to the broken up state, and then others would ‘confirm’ or ‘deny’ that state. If a relationship started the link would be created and others would ‘confirm’ or ‘deny’.
The potential is there for other interesting uses. For example the system would be able to track the history of any one person’s relationships and their duration. This makes it possible for a ‘commitment’ to be calculated - giving a numerical rating as to how much of a floosy a person might be.
It could also be possible to add an ‘intrested’ rating next to particular person (single or taken). So others (and the individual in question) can determine the popularity of a person, and the competition.
Another enhancement could be a ‘seriousness’ rating. So it would be easy to see if a couple were just getting to know each other or about to get married.
While this would merely be a cheap and inferior replacement for directly relating to people, it could certainly improve the efficiency of the whole courtship process. In fact it could eventually become the first point of call for nosey gossips and the desperate and dateless alike - shaping the very social fabric that binds our society together. It could also remain unimplemented, which is significantly more likely to occur.