Something happened to social media recently. I don’t know exactly when things changed, but almost overnight, randomly scrolling through feeds became a lot less enjoyable. Flame-wars, bad news, fake news, worse news and anxiety-fueling comment sections meant that social media is no longer the escapism it once was. Along comes Binky counter all of that, creating the ultimate anti-social media app.
Binky gives you a social media feed to interact with. Posts are called Binks. You can comment on stuff, you can like the things you enjoy, you can even re-Bink things. You can even swipe right and left on stuff, if that’s your preferred UI for expressing your desires or hang-ups.
The twist is that nothing you do makes it out into the real world; all your liking, re-Binking and swiping is completely, utterly, unavoidably futile. It’s kind of like being in space, where nobody can hear you scream. Except without having to drop a quarter of a mil on a ticket.
“Binky gives you the incessant micro-thrills of scrolling through stuff, never knowing what’s coming next, without all the hassle,” Dan Kurtz, the app’s creator says. “And the things you do in Binky don’t end up on a server somewhere for the world to see. It’s all the fun of social media with all the privacy you wish you had!”
So… Is this a joke? A piece of performance art? A tool for kicking social media withdrawals symptoms without having to take a sledgehammer to your WiFi box? Is it, perchance the philosophically polar opposite to Yo, ready to raise a chunk of cash at a ridiculous valuation at a moment’s notice?
Perhaps it’s a little bit of all of the above. Most of all it strikes me as a commentary on what drives us to pick up our phones every twenty seconds. In particular, perhaps it will succeed in making us consider what actually makes us happy. When shouting into Twitter, Facebook and the various comment fields around the ‘net loses its luster, perhaps Binky is the perfect app after all: A no-cost, instant gratification, visually-enhanced habit-reinforcing fidget spinner for the social-media addicts among us.
The app is free on iOS, and Kurtz suggests that an Android version is in the pipeline.