Counter to that argument that anonymity apps like Secret and Whisper are destructive is that they may also prove to be somewhat therapeutic for the Millennial generation. As Rachel Metz in the MIT article wrote, “I, too, found it easier to share fears (and some happy thoughts, too) about work and life within the app’s somewhat closed network. Here, I didn’t know who, exactly, was in the audience, but if some of them were my friends I figured they would probably respond compassionately… There were some dumb replies, too, but overall the reactions I received encouraged me to post honestly and frequently about a number of real and imagined fears and insecurities. With the veil of anonymity, I also felt freer to comment on other people’s posts in a more direct, honest way than I normally would…”
Therapeutic or Destructive?
What do you think? Are the more secretive apps therapeutic or another self aggrandizing platform for our generation to embrace, or worse, could they become the next platform for bullies and suicides as we talked about last week? Do these apps free us to share emotion and thoughts that would otherwise be suppressed and potentially harmful or do they allow us to retract even more from reality and the boundaries of society to build a world of fantastical secrecy without consequence?
My personal belief and one that I would encourage Millennials to think about (especially as we continually get mislabeled narcissistic): What are we doing with our lives – with all the God-given gifts, talents, opportunities, energy, relationships, and resources given to us? Did we spend them on our obsession with ourselves, or do we use them for the purpose for which we are actually made for? With anonymity social media in mind (and non-anonymity social media in mind), are we using these great, technological and societal advances to enhance our impact and positivity in the world or are we using them to pump our own selves up and destruct the societal norms and acceptable behaviors that make us all live together harmoniously?