They shield us in relative, varying degrees of anonymity. They are almost like a game, particularly Secret, which draws from your friend pool (but still won’t use names) so you can attempt to deduce what friend of a friend might have just posted that seriously angsty admittance of lost love.
There’s something nostalgic and adolescent feeling about using these apps. The feeling from middle school when I would sneak into the computer room at 2am to log onto AIM and talk with my friends—maybe even wander into a chat room—comes rushing back when I open up Whisper or Secret. Even if you’re just looking, there’s an illicitness to it. It’s no surprise that they cater to a younger demographic, particularly Whisper.
Flipping through them is fun, addictive even. You start to feel like you actually share this person’s secret, their real intimacies. And then… eventually, things take a dark turn, as is unavoidable when it comes to anything Internet-related. It’s akin to what happened when we all accidentally logged into that chat room we shouldn’t have, or that first time we unsuspectingly clicked a link that led to a dick pic. That’s a moment no one forgets.
Call it Whisper After Dark, call it oversexed Secret, call it whatever you want. This is a sampling of the things you will feel bad about after your first real dive into these apps.
They are likely (hopefully) untrue, and Whisper assures me that like any law-abiding company, it complies with the legal process and that it has an around-the-clock moderating team. That doesn’t make these any less creepy.
Really sad selfies
For starters, I wouldn’t call Whisper a great place for selfies. Secondly, this is bleak.
Again, hoping these aren’t real. An app is no way to place sexual favors.
When you go to search for “black” in Whisper, the term “I hate black people” immediately surfaces. Well done, America.
Since Secret shows each user posts from a limited amount of users, this much means an inordinately high amount of my friends and their friends have some odd poop stuff going on.
No explanation needed. These are really sad.
Consider this but a skimming of the depths of what’s inside anonymous apps—and remember, we’re just getting started with them. Who knows what depravities we’re capable of over-sharing?
Photo via Ron Bennetts (CC BY 2.0)