The only safe social network is the one that has no social component



Most people scroll through their phones on the train instead of looking at people

Image: Drew angerer/Getty Images

Social media is an ingrained part of modern life in 2017. Checking what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks throughout the day is a habit for millions of people, even if it’s just to see how many likes that epic pic of your glow-in-the-dark donut is getting.

Of course, social media also has problems. For starters, there’s the abundance of negative comments, trolls, and occasional harassment (let’s not even get started on fake news and political filter bubbles). Even absent all that, there’s a constant stress of staying connected lest you experience serious FOMO, and the pressure to always be share your best and coolest thoughts, photos, and updates.

Enter Binky: an app created for scrolling though something without looking at anything meaningful at all. A place to get the enjoyment of endless, repetitive scrolling without the emotional rollercoaster. 

Dan Kurtz tells TechCrunch that he created the app as a joke at first, but “the joke gets better the more serious I take it.”

I decided to check out this joke, so I downloaded Binky on my iPhone. When I entered the app, it gave me a short tutorial about what to expect and what I could do as a user. I jumped right in and took a look at what Binky has to offer.

The content isn’t anything wildly fun or crazy — just ordinary objects, people, and places displayed to keep you occupied. When scrolling, I came across photos of mountains, a cow, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and actual chili peppers. The captions on the photos were literally just the name of the object in the photo.

“Binky demonstrates that the reason we scroll through social media is not because we want to keep up with the news or see photos of friends who are happier than us. We do it because we want to scroll through stuff on our phones,” Kurtz said in a Facebook Messenger conversation. “The only thing that matters is whether the next rectangle of content is novel, relative to the rectangles that came before it. Turns out, you can replace status updates with photos of baked goods and it’s just as compelling.”

The first thing I noticed was the reaction to liking a “bink.” Instead of just a singular heart turning red on the screen like on Instagram or Twitter, Binky releases an explosion of stars that shoot across the screen in different colors whenever you, um bink something.

The app is a good place for meaningless scrolling, but it actually gave me quite a chuckle as well. I decided to take the next step and comment on a bink of a basil plant, and I quickly found that the app generates complete words for every letter you hit. 

This is the comment that appeared from me hitting random letters on my keyboard.

This is the comment that appeared from me hitting random letters on my keyboard.

The last thing I did was try the re-bink option. When you hit the icon, a message box comes up saying, “Do you want to re-bink this bink? This doesn’t do anything.” When you go ahead with the action, a bunch of brightly colored thumbs fall down your screen before you return to the feed.

As the re-bink message states, the great thing about this app is that literally nothing happens when you use it. You don’t have followers tracking your behavior on the app and there isn’t a real person reading what you comment.

The app is built purely for the fact of scrolling on social media without dealing with actual social media. So the next time you’re using your phone to avoid eye contact with someone or just want to scroll through something before bed, try Binky. It doesn’t give you anything of importance, but that’s the whole point. 

Updated 6/12, 4:01 p.m. with quotes from Binky creator Dan Kurtz.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f80314%2fa3bb6283 d7e8 45b1 83ca defee7a9fb8b

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *