The Crimson White

App allows students to share campus secrets

Marcus Flewellen

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Whisper, a rising new social networking app at The University of Alabama, now allows students to share secrets, meet new people and express themselves to the Crimson Tide community.

“You download a picture, write your secret on it, and then it goes out for the whole world to see,” UA student Lesley Dumas said. “But it is completely anonymous. Whisper is a bit like Six Billion Secrets or Post Secret. It’s a place where people can tell anyone anything they want without actually being judged for it.”

Even if students are not willing to anonymously post any of their deepest, darkest secrets, Dumas and fellow Whisper user Chris Chirino, a senior majoring in counseling and interpersonal pyschology through New College, said students don’t have to share secrets to enjoy the app.

“I don’t really post,” Chirino said. “I mostly just look at content.”

“Even though I know no one will know it’s me, I’m still a chicken,” Dumas said. “I’m an observant person, so things like this interest me. You learn something about everyone and most of these posters could be some of the same people we pass every day, sit next to, or have a conversation with.”

UA students can also have their posts displayed on Whisper on University of Alabama, a Facebook page specifically designed for UA students.

“I think it’s somewhat popular,” Chirino said. “There’s definitely a lot of content.”

While some students use Whisper to share lighthearted secrets, most use the app to acknowledge their problems.

“What I get from Whisper is the realization of just how many people live their lives in guilt, secrecy and unhappiness,” Chirino said. “From posts about suicide to self-hatred, it makes me sad to know so many out there live with this every day.”

However, Whisper provides a positive environment and outlet for students dealing with depression, loneliness and self-esteem issues. Dumas recalls only one time where she has seen someone harassed after sharing their secret.

“A user on the UA Facebook page was accusing some frat boys of being gay,” she said. “Some words were exchanged, but it died down. It’s still shocking to know people aren’t as accepting as you expected.”

Even though Chirino visits Whisper on a regular basis, he isn’t sure that he would recommend it to other students.

“I think it’s a unique opportunity for people who don’t want to go public with things on their mind,” he said. “But I’m a firm believer in the therapeutic process. Our University has some wonderful resources such as the Counseling Center and the Women’s Resource Center that I think users encountering troublesome thoughts should utilize.”

Dumas, however, is a big fan of the app.

“Again, it’s a place where you can post anonymously and not have to worry about being judged about it,” she said. “Yeah, there might be some names and all, but no one knows who it is. Chances are, if you are feeling left out, you can submit a picture about it and people will tell you places to go and offer to hang out. Whisper reminds me that there are others out there that feel the same as I do.”

 

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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
App allows students to share campus secrets