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.
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.
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.