Whatsgoodly in the app world?

PAIGE LISTON | COLUMNIST

If a girl is known to be a “partier,” will it make you less likely to date her? Which fraternity throws the best parties? When you see a squirrel what do you do?

The answers to these riveting questions and others like them can be found on an application that has recently made its way onto the phones of Butler University students.

The app called “Whatsgoodly” is location-based and intended for college students’ use. The app allows people to submit anonymous questions followed by four different answers. Once a question is posted, users of “Whatsgoodly” can vote. The results appear in survey form. Voters can also leave anonymous comments under each question.

The app was launched out of Stanford University in March, according to an article on thedailybeast.com.  In an article for the Daily Pennsylvanian, founder Adam Halper said the app was created for students to share their opinions on important issues.  

This begs the question: Is asking what someone would do if one saw a squirrel an important issue? For some people, perhaps. But most likely, knowing the answer to this question is fairly pointless.

Junior Gabrielle Dunn has seen the app but does not use it. She believes only bad things can come from posting anonymously.

“The only thing that will come from it is finding a new way to bully or target a specific person or group of people,” Dunn said. “Ultimately, it just becomes a bad distraction on campus.”

Often, the app will call people out by name. Some people are ranked based on levels of attractiveness or popularity. Additionally, several posts exist ranking groups of people on campus, such as different Greek houses or sports teams.

In a way, I am surprised by the amount of anonymous apps that have become available for people to use. Our generation is continuously moving towards a society that only feels comfortable speaking their minds when they are hidden behind a computer screen.

I would like to believe that whatever people post online, they would have the courage to say in person, but I know all too well this is not the case.

Of course, people have more courage to say things when they are hidden behind a computer screen or protected by a wall of anonymity. This leaves you feeling guilt-free about anything you say, or anything you ask. Very rarely do we get the chance to feel this way about our words.

I would much rather people speak candidly and honestly in person, so that anonymous apps such as these promoting cyber bullying would not even exist.

Junior Kailey Eaton realizes the frivolity of the app, but cannot deny the fact that, at the very least, it is entertaining.

“I like getting instant feedback when I take surveys because honestly, I think it’s interesting,” Eaton said. “And I’m always curious to see what my peers think about different things.”

I understand how the app could be entertaining. All people are interested in knowing what their peers genuinely think about them, whether we want to admit it or not.  

Although “Whatsgoodly” could essentially be used to promote new thoughts and opinions on a college campus, granting people the power to be anonymous always leaves room for hateful comments.

I am not saying this app is the worst thing to ever happen to phones, and I am not aware of any terrible events stemming from this app specifically. Ultimately, the continued use and production of anonymous sites only encourages cyber bullying. It promotes a culture in which people hide behind the screens of their smartphones, instead of being honest in person, and that is a true loss.

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