NC embraces Brighten and spreads positivity


Courtesy of Brighten.en

Brighten might soon overshadow other popular apps on social media with its sunny demeanor and well wishes for users.

Adam Kovel and Gabby Weaver

A new social-media app, Brighten, recently exploding across NC, has garnered attention of almost the entire student body.

Brighten works using an invitation-only, anonymous format. Users receive an invitation from current members via text message, and must invite three other friends to join before getting started. Then, they create their personal account and add friends via their phone contacts. Once establishing friends, people can send public messages to a selected person anonymously. Everyone who mutually adds each other can see each post, “like” and comment on them.

“People feel like they’re able to say kind things they think people truly deserve to hear but are afraid they’ll be seen as over sentimental or weird for saying. The anonymity makes it more about just celebrating someone and not trying to be like ‘hey, look at me. I’m so kind’,” senior Riley O’Neill said.

The original idea for the app stood to provide compliments to friends and boost their confidence. The creators elaborated on their intention in the description, highlighted in the App Store.

“In 2013, we had a friend pass away in a climbing accident. After he passed, all his friends started writing really nice, heartfelt messages on his Facebook wall about how much he meant to them. We wished that he could’ve seen all the amazing things people were saying about him while he was still alive,” Brighten Labs, Inc. said.

Although the main purpose stands to compliment each other, some insult others. Users can report rude posts, and after a certain amount, the accused go into “time out” for an hour where they cannot post for the duration of the punishment.

Some NC students relate Brighten back to another popular app around the school two years ago, Yik Yak. However, unlike Brighten, Yik Yak spread gossip anonymously and lacked in spreading positive energy and messages. The negative consequences from Yik Yak led to suspensions and the app eventually being blocked from the school.

“It’s made clear on Brighten that you are supposed to be positive, but people will always find a way to be rude, so it’s basically Yik Yak 2.0 with time outs,” junior Madison Barfield said.

Only time will tell if the Brighten fad continues, but for now, it remains clear that NC embraces the up-and-coming program.