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Apps Aim to Douse Social Media Dumpster Fire

By Scientific American

February 7, 2023

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New social apps are being introduced that promote a more positive online environment.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Gas and BeReal lack algorithms that incentivize controversial content and endless feeds that encourage scrolling.

The BeReal app allows users to post an unfiltered photograph during a random two-minute window per day, after which they can see what others have posted.

Users of the Gas app, meanwhile, earn digital rewards for participating in anonymous polls in which they vote for the best compliments about their friends.

Some people may gravitate toward Gas because they know that they will only see good things on it, according to David Bickham of the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Bickham says a positive social experience comes from “moving toward [app] designs that increase the autonomy of the user, giving them more control over the type of content that they’re exposed to."

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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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