As someone living with Aspergers syndrome, I find myself drawn to a lot of obsessive behavioural loops in my daily schedule. I have a built in need to keep up to date onj information, to track the things going on in the world, and to not feel like I’ve allowed myself to fall behind on anything. Paired with the fact my job necessitates the use of social media sites like Twitter to get my work shared, and the end result is me being ever so slightly addicted to keeping track of my Twitter feeds, notifications, DM’s and mentions.
I’m also a relatively prominent trans woman on the internet, and a lot of people dedicate their time to making social media an unpleasent place for me to spend my time.
Sometimes these two specific parts of my life clash, and I will find myself obsessively checking my Twitter feed in the midst of a shitstorm of nasty online vitriol. While I know logically staying off social media during that time would be best, and that when I come back to social media I should resist the urge to read backwards through those avoided mentions, but my obsessive nature makes doing so very tough. I end up obsessively reading negative content and it doesn’t do my mental health any good.
This is where Binky comes in.
Binky is a fake social media app for iOS and Android devices that acts as an amalgam of a few different social media archetypes. You don’t log into anything, you don’t need to be online to use it, and you’re just given a fake social media feed to scroll. Images pop up on your timeline, ranging from foods to celebrities to animals to inventions. You can swipe them to the side to denote them as good or bad things. You can ReBink things (this looks like ReTweeting, but the app reminds you every time that this actually does nothing). You can like things, or you can mash your keyboard to leave silly nonsensicle light hearted comments on posts.
Nobody sees anything you do in the app. There’s no notifications feed of people responding to your activity. It’s social media theatre, and it has functioned as a legitimately useful proxy for obsessive social media scrolling when people online are being absolute arseholes.
It may seem pointless to use a social media platform that isn’t building towards anything or connective in nature, but that’s kind of the point. For many of us the actions of social media are routine, are compulsive, are things we do out of a need rather than a desire.
Sometimes it’s just nice to be reminded how pointless it all kind of is, and obsess away in a sandbox that’s a bit more friendly to the user.