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Whisper app gives students an anonymous voice


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Social media Web sites are extraordinarily popular with students. However, for young people who are worried about their GPA, experiencing difficulty adjusting to student life or having a hard time during their summer internship, posting on public forums like Twitter or Facebook may expose them to unwanted scrutiny or ridicule. But they still need to vent and voice their difficulties. According to USA Today, an iPhone app called Whisper is giving students a voice - one lacking ties to their real-world identities.

Confessions of a college student
Whisper was released for Apple devices in November of last year and has since become extraordinarily popular with college students. Unlike most social networks, Whisper allows users to post in complete anonymity, allowing them to say whatever is on their mind without fear of reproach. The news source reports that during the past year, the popularity of Whisper has surged among students, many of whom feel they cannot voice their feelings about student life in more public forums like Facebook.

While some students have used Whisper to voice their dissatisfaction with their summer internship or confess to struggling as freshmen, others have used the online platform to celebrate personal successes. For example, one student posted that despite parental criticism that their child would "never make it in business," the student had just landed an internship at a major clothing company.

A safe place
The app's popularity among college students prompted the developers of Whisper to create a nonprofit organization known as Your Voice to enable students to discuss topics that are typically stigmatized, such as mental illness like depression and the stress of college life.

In addition to providing a safe place for students to discuss their concerns openly and without judgment, Your Voice serves as a centralized resource for on-campus organizations that can help students cope with the rigors of academic life. Links are provided to many major national organizations that deal with everything from eating disorders to general campus safety.

"It's to let them know that they're not alone," Khushboo Parmar, a Whisper representative at a university in Texas, told the Daily Texan. "To know that just because you're struggling, and it seems like everyone else is doing so great, that there's someone around you that's feeling just the way you're feeling."

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