We've all been tempted to vent on Facebook, but usually don't because of the risk of backlash on such a public forum.
Now there's a new app — ConfessionDolls — that lets you use an avatar to unload your angst without fear of reprisal. Created in Amsterdam for iPhone, the app is described as an "electronic diary for confessions, secrets and all other personal stories which are not suitable for social media."
Tumblr and other sites allow users to post anonymously, which is why blogs have become a haven for such topics as anorexia and self harm. Facebook requires people to use their real names and encourages users to report self-harm content that they see. But ConfessionDolls asks only for a username and a password. All revelations — your own or others' — can be posted to your Facebook page or Twitter account.
In the app, each doll dangles from a virtual string — disturbingly like a noose, but the site creators say it's a rosary — and keywords from the latest post flicker around them, such as "creep," and "alone." The app uses the iPhone's portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) modes to separate writing from viewing, so when you want to post, hold your phone upright and then flip it longways when you want to read what others have written.
After you've created your account with just a username and password, customize your doll's hair, skin, dress and accessories. Tap "ready" to move onto the confession screen where you'll type in a deep, dark secret. For now, confessions are limited to hurt feelings, rather than secrets, but it's early days.
For viewing posts made by others, flip your iPhone to a horizontal position to read messages like this one from kittyfishmilk, "People hate me all the time and when I find out I'm just begging on my knees to see why they hate me, I want them to be my friend and love me again."
ConfessionDolls is free from the App Store, but you'll have to confirm your age as 17 or older, which requires only a tap. An upgrade version, available for $2, offers alternate ways to view confessions such as by most popular and most active.
While there's nothing wrong with venting, this app could become a source for kids crying out for help, but because it's anonymous, it's like crying in the dark.