Shhh — Don't Tell: Anonymous Apps Make Sharing Secrets Easier

Download Audio

They read like the classic "deep thoughts" sketch from Saturday Night Live: quotes from anonymous strangers sharing secrets or revelations. They range from the heartfelt to the mundane, to the inane.

Here's one: "I like to stop my microwave with one second left. It makes me feel like I'm defusing a bomb."

"My cat will only eat expensive meat and it's costing me a fortune."

"Sometimes I wish I could record my dreams, then wake up and watch them."

"Sometimes the best part of my job is that my chair swivels."

"I wonder if I would like myself if I met me."

These are real examples are the miscellaneous musings of friends — and strangers — that can be delivered to your phone by a pair of apps called Secret and Whisper.

As WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer finds out, it's like social networking without the profiles.


Hiawatha Bray, technology writer for the Boston Globe. His latest column is here. He’s also author of the new book “You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves.” He tweets at @GlobeTechLab


The Boston Globe: Anonymous Apps Tell The Unvarnished Truth

  • "I mock my wife’s fondness for celebrity news shows like Access Hollywood. Who cares about the doings of movie stars? But when I pick up my smartphone, it’s her turn to jeer. Lately I’ve been staring at the screen for 15 minutes at a time, reading of the careers and romances and financial woes of total strangers and unidentified friends."

New York Magazine: A Gossip App Brought My High School To A Halt

  • "M., a high school junior, was rushing to class last Thursday morning when a friend stopped to ask if she was okay. Taken by surprise, she laughed and answered that she was fine. Continuing down the hall, she was met by strange glances and similar inquiries. She was at a loss. What had she done to become a celebrity overnight? It wasn’t until she sat down for her first period class that someone finally told her about Yik Yak."

This segment aired on May 29, 2014.

Headshot of Sacha Pfeiffer

Sacha Pfeiffer Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.



More from Radio Boston

Listen Live