NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine a social media confessional — a place where you can publicly confess your darkest thoughts and keep your identity a secret.
There are no judgments and no repercussions because no one knows that it’s you revealing extreme confessions.
“I got married 5 months ago and didn’t have sex,” one poster wrote.
“It was kind of like reading people’s diaries,” another added.
“I was in a dark place in my life. I felt alone,” an anonymous user said.
The place to go to vent, come clean, or even peer into other people’s secrets is on ‘Whisper.’
“I was able to get things off my chest. I didn’t feel like I could share with people around me,” one user said.
“People share their real thoughts and feelings. It’s totally anonymous, no names or profiles,” Whisper CEO and co-founder, Michael Heyward said.
Whisper is an app where anyone can post just about anything. It’s a public opportunity for private thoughts where anonymity is the key attraction.
“It was really a great place for me to put things I wouldn’t necessarily want attached to me on personal media,” one poster said.
There’s no shortage of things to say. According to co-founder Michael Hayward, the app has about 30-million monthly users turning confessions into content.
“There is as much a cathartic experience in posting as there is in consuming content,” Heyward said.
While just about anyone can be posted, Hayward said there are still boundaries.
“We don’t allow bullying, we don’t allow the use of proper names,” he said.
Other apps like Post Secrets also allow online confessions, but the content is selected. Anyone can post on Whisper.
“I do have bi-polar disorder, and I have this racing thoughts thing going on,” one poster wrote.
Psychologist Dr. Harris Stratyner said anonymously posting may be an outlet for some.
“There’s a certain benefit to a cathartic action where you’re putting something out,” Dr. Stratyner explained.
He said not everyone will find help they may really need while remaining anonymous.
“You’re putting it out there and nothing’s happening, and then what. If you just purge that’s not therapeutic,” he said.
Whisper does have a monitoring system, both human and technological.
When there is a post of a more extreme nature, it’s flagged and there is a referral where the poster can get some help.