Whisper is an app that combines our fascination with secrets and mystery with the juicy salaciousness of gossip. All done anonymously. It is a teen’s dream! And it has recently exploded in its use by university students and teens. Essentially, it is a smartphone app that allows users to share secrets anonymously. You type in a message and the app finds a matching image and turns your secret into a ‘cool’ meme. Strangers can anonymously “like” or leave comments on your unleashed secrets. The creepy thing is that strangers can and do respond to you. To test it, I sent out an image with this anonymous ‘secret’: ‘I’m 15, and I am lonely’, and within seconds I received 2 responses that I will not print here!
Teens also need to remember that this is a start-up company. It is in its youth. While it might say you are anonymous, all your messages are stored against your IP address and just like Surprise, surprise, Snapchat Pics Don’t Delete!, Whisper messages, could come back to haunt you.
I am sure that there are fun and even therapeutic ways that this app could be used but in my experience, sadly, there are also mean, nasty and sinister ways. Beware!
Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus
This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations.
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