People Imagine a Scary World Where An iPhone Will Give Your Contacts an Honest ETA

Everyone has those friends – or is the friend – who is always late. While some rude people literally could not care less about your time, there are those who are simply incapable of getting their shit together. My friend Mary* is one of these individuals. She doesn’t even have to be going anywhere to screw up time. Just last night I was invited to her home for dinner. I suggested 7 pm so we could have plenty of time together. I also suggested a recipe that is thrown into a slow cooker so there would be minimal prep/effort involved and we could just enjoy the fruits of the machine’s labor. 

Eventually, I received a text asking if we could push the dinner to 8. Then another message requesting that my date and I arrive at 8:15. This is after she revealed that she was late putting the chicken in the slow cooker, and we’d be eating at 10 pm. I chuckled to myself but then thought back to all the times I spent up to thirty minutes waiting for her at restaurants and bars.  As someone who is perpetually on time for social events, it gets old. 

Earlier this week on Twitter, @soren_iverson texted a mock-up of an iPhone feature that doesn’t exist, but should: An “Honest ETA” warning. In the image, we see a text exchange in which people are solidifying plans to meet up. A contact named Cynthia texts the phone’s owner and says she’s five minutes away. The alert, located at the bottom of the exchange, reads “According to Apple Maps, Cynthia is still at her house (21 min away).”


On Twitter, the backlash towards this non-existent feature was pretty major. While some users felt personally attacked by the proposal, others jokingly called it racist and suggested it would probably destroy friendships. We can see both sides, but as a punctual person I think this would improve society – or at the very least, inspire a bit more honesty. Would you like this feature, or would you join protests against it? 

*Name changed for privacy and shame-prevention purposes