App Review: 4 Great Gossip Apps

Are you a troublemaker? Nothing big. Little ripples instead of waves. Like pissing off your colleagues at work, irritating friends and acquaintances? Or are you into something more playfully random, causing haphazard episodes of humorous irritation? It’s what my Puerto Rican mother-in-law calls being a “mosquito muerta”—the little dead mosquito that’s into everything: Gossip, rumors, little white lies or something worse. Well, have I got some apps for you!

Secret, which comes free on iOS and Android, is a receiver of anonymous random information. By sharing content anonymously, users get implicit permission to let loose feelings which probably wouldn’t normally even come close to being shared. Call it the Devil’s Facebook. There’s clearly a big difference between Billy telling Aaron on Facebook, “Anna told me and the boys that you have a little winky!” versus a Secret post which starts with one anonymous blurting of “Hey Needle Dick!” and then onward and outward to a tribe of friends.

Two tabs show as you open the tabs: ‘Explore’ and ‘Friends.’ ‘The Explore’ tab means your posts are shared with everyone! If you open up this veritable Pandora’s Box of possibilities, you’ll find every sort of unexpected personal confessions and gossip from around the world. See something interesting? You can ‘like’ it and then subscribe to see more posts from the same user. As many of them involve sexual fetishes of all kinds, Secret also becomes a sort of de facto flirtation central station. As you can also localize posts close or closer to your own city or town, the app also becomes a means of arranging a way to find fuck buddies for anonymous trysts.

Use the ‘Friend’ tab instead and you can isolate yourself to a smaller circle of friends and acquaintances. In this case, more pertinent personal info, like your mobile number, is shared so that you can share and trust amongst an exclusive group of your choosing. The implicit premise and promise is one of trust, a very iffy one. Kind of reminds me of the ways and means I used to use in junior year of high school to screen out who it actually was I could really trust.

Sharing, classifying and even annotating your very own secrets is simple. It takes just a few easy taps of your fingernail. Plus you can decorate your jagged little barbs, jokes and bits of self and pluralistic abuse with colored background images or color, even tagging and grouping them should you see fit. Micro-managers and control freaks usually give themselves away fast. The interface is very easy to use, but, as I said earlier, you need to own a thick skin because some folks you consider to be your friends put up posts where no punches are pulled and where some of those things you clearly considered to be secrets are there for everybody to see. But, really, that’s what Secret is all about, isn’t it?

Another app for iOS and Android, Whisper, may be more to your taste if you want to lower the conflict ratio. This is one you can keep small. You can also use a filter to search out the posts of kindred spirits, or posters from close to your own location. Share enough Whisper messages and you’re bound to locate your own kind. You can then add, photos, alter fonts, as well as add or subtract as much data concerning yourself, as you deem appropriate.

If your preference turns more toward the depersonalized, different again is the news discovery app Random. It’s a free iOS app through which you can absolutely avoid getting personal. It’s a snap to manipulate your news app via word connections to headlines. The app begins by showing you a colorful master page of keywords. Click “technology” and off you go to Wired or one of my reviews of new audio equipment on Badoinkcom. After you finish reading, the app shows you brand-new keywords based on the previous piece.

Finally there’s Randid. It’s a free photo-sharing app on iOS onto which you embed and share a single image. Randid then delivers a random image back to you. Then, again sort of like high school, after the fact, you can count ‘hits’ showing how well ‘liked’ your images actually are. And keep in mind, ‘inappropriate’ images are filtered out.

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