“I open it and start scrolling. Images of people, foods, and objects appear on and then vanish off the screen. Solar cooker. B.F. Skinner. Shoes. Marmalade. Sports Bra. Michael Jackson. Ganesha. Aurora Borealis. These are “binks,” the name for posts on Binky.
I can “like” a bink by tapping a star, which unleashes an affirming explosion. I can “re-bink” binks, too. I can swipe left to judge them unsavory, Tinder-style, and I can swipe right to signal approval. I am a binker, and I am binking.
There’s just one catch: None of it is real. Binky is a ruse, a Potemkin-Village social network with no people, where the content is fake and feedback disappears into the void. And it might be exactly the thing that smartphone users want—and even need.”
Our favourite feature was the commenting feature, for those of you out there who like to express yourselves. Ian tells us how it works: “The comments are my favorite: A keyboard appears on which to type them, but each key-tap reveals a whole word in a pre-generated comment. Words, tags, or emoji continue appending until I stop typing. “This looks amazing! #harlemshake #wordsToLiveBy #rofl,” or “I dunno, I like this but it’s problematic ????????.””
The developer tells us that: “…I feel like I ought to be looking at my phone, like it’s my default state of being.” Kurtz wondered what it would look like to boil down those services into their purest, most content-free form. This is what people really want from their smartphones. Not content in the sense of quips, photos, and videos, but content as the repetitive action of touching and tapping a glass rectangle with purpose and seeing it nod in response.” Many internet critics speak to the habitual nature of these devices. The developer has taken this idea to its logical conclusion. Just feed the habit. Ian tells us he found it surprisingly satisfying.
Today, have a Binky Day and ignore all other apps. Or just take time to read the article and reflect on the extent to which what it suggests holds true in your experience. Happy Binky Day!