The Brighten App: Is Anonymity the Best Policy?

Isabelle Barnes, Writer

Though first created in December of 2013, one of the newest forms of social media, the Brighten App, has just recently become popular in the halls of Bob Jones.  Similar to a previous, very controversial app, Yik Yak, which was banished from schools within weeks of its arrival due to bullying and inappropriate comments, this app promises only positivity and happiness for its users.

The app, created by Austin Kevitch, was designed in attempts to “brighten” people’s day by giving users a place to anonymously post compliments on their friend’s page.  Once a compliment is posted, other people may comment and like the post, only being identified by a random emoji of various cartoon animal faces.

Brighten also has a points system that is displayed on one’s profile page, awarding points to a user whenever he/she sends a brighten, comments on a brighten, or has someone like a brighten they have sent.  These points serve as motivation to stay involved with the app, and continue to make people happy by sending brightens or liking other people’s.

It is true that one can just as easily send a hurtful comment to someone as they can a positive one, however, the app will put a user in a “timeout” by not allowing them to login to their account for a certain amount of time after sending a negative comment, in addition to this, points will be deducted from their overall Brighten score.  These precautions are meant to discourage users from posting unkind things and keep the app strictly positive.

Bob Jones students have mixed emotions over the app, thinking it has good intentions but that it can also be taken advantage of.  Hannah Moran, a senior at Bob Jones, said, “ I think at first it went well, but then people started to say mean things to other people.”

Though the anonymity of this app may make it appear questionable to people that are considering downloading it, it is hard to deny the good intentions behind the creation of it.

Austin Kevitch created this app from what started off as a “compliment box” that he started on his college campus after one of his friends died tragically in a rock climbing incident.  Kevitch came up with this idea after he noticed that lots of people were posting nice things on his deceased friends Facebook wall.  Kevitch was inspired by this, and thought how great it would be if there was a way people could see all the nice things people had to say about them before it was too late.  Brighten’s goal is to be that way.