Joe The Annoying Friend is a Chrome extension with an ON and OFF icon, so you can choose whether to let him talk. When you click on your own Status Updates or other people’s posts, he bluntly spits out insensitive facts like “Nobody is really special” and “Everyone eventually dies” to remind you to constantly check in with what’s real before getting sucked into the dreamland of “I wish life could be like this.”

Check out how Joe annoys you in action:

Part of the Inspiration comes from my struggle with social psychology. Conversations help us bounce ideas and learn new things. However, we often end up feeding each other stories that make us bigger assholes without us realizing it. Neuroscientists have also discovered that learning process and outcome are stored separately in our brains. This could potentially make social interaction very dangerous – we arrive at conclusions and gradually lose associations with how we get there, or why we think it’s worth to get there in the first place.

In The Emotional Dog Wagging the Conscious Tail, Haidt mentioned about philosophers’ ability to self-reason, which may at times “reason their way to a judgment by sheer force of logic, overriding their initial intuition.” This concept got me really interested. So, it’s like having a friend who you can always reason with, without worrying about the social conformity issue. Thus, the birth of Joe my annoying friend.