Sunday June 18, 2017

The ultimate anti-social media app

Binky presents you with an infinite scrolling list of random stuff. You can comment, but it never makes it out into the real world. So...why?

Binky presents you with an infinite scrolling list of random stuff. You can comment, but it never makes it out into the real world. So...why?

Listen 7:08

Do you ever find yourself just scrolling your Facebook feed and then a minute later not even remember what you just scrolled through?  Are you using it like a baby might use a pacifier?

Binky may just be your new fix.

"It's a dumb, fake app -- that you can't put down," says Dan Kurtz, Binky's creator.

360 Dan Kurtz

Dan Kurtz

"It simulates the feeling of being on social media without any of the anxiety of being on social media."

Binky presents you with an infinite scrolling list of random stuff. Like other scrolling apps, you can 'like', comment and swipe, but Binky is utterly futile.

Nothing you do ever makes it out into the real world. "The comments cease to exist as soon as you exit the app," Dan says.

Dan created the app as part of a comedy hackathon. "The idea for this was to think about my own social media anxiety. I'm a very passive social media user," he says. "I asked myself, 'why am I compelled to scroll through this stuff? Would it be just as compelling if it were random stuff?'"

Is it performance art? An app to help people curb their social media addiction?

"To be honest, it's a joke," Dan admits, yet he is "happy to have it be whatever people want it to be."

360 Binky

What will show up in your Binky feed? More of this.

What does Binky say about our compulsive need to scroll through our phones every few minutes?

"While we like to think that scrolling through Facebook and Twitter -- we do that to keep up with our friends and to keep up with the news -- the reasons that we do it are much more based on cravings and appetites and habits," Dan believes.  

And that's why he thinks that Binky feels so natural. "Even though you are aware in your head that you are playing with a fake dumb joke -- and yet you can't stop playing with this fake dumb joke."

So, how satisfying does Dan find scrolling through Binky? "Pretty satisfying, I've got to say."