New App Ruins the World

It’s not Yik Yak, Twitter, Tinder, Whisper or Snapchat. It’s worse, because it’s all of them. The creators call it the best way to get the “juiciest stories, darkest secrets, and funniest moments” that your fellow students want to share in an anonymous forum, and what better way to create an everlasting bond with your friends during the last two weeks than by anonymously talking about them on an app? uMentioned is the newest app on the market to take off on college campuses across the country.

Unlike Yik Yak, uMentioned doesn’t work geographically, so even when students leave campus, they still have access to the Boston College uMentioned community posts. This app combines qualities from some of the more popular apps currently in the App Store. Users log in and pick a school, and then they’re directed to a feed of posts of what’s happening on campus. The feed consists of ‘Confessions’, ‘Spotted’, or ‘Overheard’ posts which can be posted by anyone, and if they choose, anonymously.

Screenshot by Itzel Ayala / Gavel Media

Screenshot by Itzel Ayala / Gavel Media

From there, swiping right will “like” the post and swiping left will “meh” it. Students can also favorite a post or comment on it (again, anonymously is always an option), but once the user goes through the entire feed, there’s no going back. Similar to how Snapchats cannot be seen past the set time limit from the sender, users can’t look at the pictures or posts again once they've seen them.

As with all anonymous and short-lived media posts, things get NSFW pretty quickly. There are several stock photos from which people can use as backgrounds for their confessions or overheards. Anyone can upload his or her own photos, and in fact it’s required when posting under the ‘Spotted’ category.

Screenshot by Itzel Ayala / Gavel Media

Screenshot by Itzel Ayala / Gavel Media

These photos don’t last longer than the time it takes for someone to swipe right or left, but just like many other social media apps, including Snapchat, uMentioned is not immune to screenshots. Like other anonymous social media sites, this too has gained some popularity at BC, but like Yik Yak, it is gaining momentum at a slow pace.

Pages like BC Confessions and apps like Yik Yak have been commended for providing an anonymous outlet for students to talk openly about their feelings without fear of judgment. While these forms of anonymous social media outlets often result in long threads of gossip and lewd or crass content, it is still debatable as to whether these types of social media address an issue that is otherwise not dealt with by allowing students to talk openly and honestly about their feelings.

School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
HometownRancho Cucamonga, California
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? We keep it fresh. It’s drippin with swagger and is home to some of the coolest cats on campus. The Gavel is always fun and I’ve met nothing short of amazing people and writers here.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I’d start by getting some coffee and a personalized omelet at Mac. Then we’d go lose our voices at a football game and wear our super awesome Superfan shirts. We would then go see one of the amazing Acapella groups perform. We’d get some Mac N Cheese from the Rat for lunch. We would go see My Mother’s Fleabag for an awesome good time. Then we’d take a break and visit the dorms (i.e. sit in my room and watch Mean Girls…because Mean Girls.). We would then go to a hockey game, then to the Mods, and end the night at Late Night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? Eat your vegetables and take a lot of pictures.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? The Rat
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? That delicious Simply Orange juice the dining halls always have stocked. This and a personal pizza topped with ketchup. Judge all you want, but ketchup on pizza is the best thing to happen since Game of Thrones.
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? “I Always Knew” by the Vaccines
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? I was Minnie Mouse as a kid. Not trying to brag, but I rocked the ears off that costume.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Del Taco
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? Easy. Harry Potter. (I’m assuming) I’d get to go to Hogwarts, be a wizard AND be friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s a win win, for me anyway. If I can’t be a wizard then i’d be friends with the main characters from This Is The End.

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