My morning routine before my morning routine — you know, in which I cleanse and tone while listening to a podcast in an attempt to feel alive and connected to something — is rather simple. Before I register being awake I roll over, turn off my alarm, and brace myself for the daily read that is my Co-Star “Your day at a glance” notification. More often than not, I come away from the one-to-two line blurb with the head rush of an oncoming existential crisis. Maybe I do talk “to”[sic] much (that I’m being insulted by an AI that can’t spell makes it that much worse); Is my fixation on material pleasures actually just an attempt to ignore real emotional distress?; Does Co-Star know I was lurking on [redacted?] Fuck.
me whenever i open costar pic.twitter.com/MEPulDwzsF— zoë h. (@zoe_alliyah) March 26, 2019
Co-Star is an astrology app that caters to a millennial user base. It was developed from a brilliantly stupid idea: What if you taught an AI astrology? Its clean, straight-forward design and grayscale color palette was enough to convince me the app is in fact what I needed to get my life in check; it didn’t hurt, of course, that all of my friends were using and talking about it excitedly. (My basic chart reads Virgo sun, Taurus moon, and Gemini rising so take from that what you will.)
There’s no doubt astrology is having a moment. Astrologically inclined accounts are all over Twitter and Instagram, from ones specializing in memes to those offering more sober analyses of the stars. But Co-Star set itself apart early on by capitalizing on the idea that your astrology app could be a bitch and still remind you to say no to dating Scorpios.
Co-star really out here roasting me on my birthday :// pic.twitter.com/Fyk7rvbfMo— kenz (@mck_white) April 16, 2019
Why do the Co-Star notifications absolutely wreck me, my friends, and the other users who turn to the app for a daily dose of astrological mindfulness? Or better yet, why do we allow it? It’s gotten to the point where I think, why even bother calling your mom when you can get to the same dizzying rush of being judged and found wanting in a fraction of the time.
I guess there is something satisfying, in a masochistic way, about getting notifications from the app. Whenever I go to pick up my phone in the morning I get a little thrill at the prospect of the app dragging me for filth. I recently even added another one, The Pattern, to my lineup. Admittedly, the Pattern is more astrology adjacent and doesn’t really offer horoscopes. But the combination of it and Co-Star leaves me eviscerated in the best way. There’s a sense of validation in engaging with my emotional world through these astrological frameworks. Starting your day with a hearty “you ain’t shit” leaves you prepared to face the world with realistic expectations.
is co-star allowed to speak to me like this ......????????!!!!! pic.twitter.com/ubwtn8RqKV— Seon👻 (@goingtoheld) April 16, 2019
It seems likely this ritual will soon spread to even more “astro-hoes.”. Earlier this week Co-Star announced on Twitter, in a somewhat rambling thread that honestly read more like a post written by their AI rather than a human who works tere, that the company had secured funding to expand the app to Android. To those soon-to-come users: Join us on Twitter and Instagram, let’s wallow in our collective feelings of hyper self-awareness together.