Anonymously send and receive photos and see how long the boys can play nice: Rando
I mailed five postcards to total strangers at the age of 11, when I still believed in the magic of chain letters, and I was sure I’d get thousands of postcards from people all over the world. I got one — from Michigan. That disappointment scarred me for life. So when I saw Rando, an app that lets you anonymously send pictures out into the ether to be delivered to total strangers (and then guarantees you’ll get one in return), I thought it might help to heal the trauma of my childhood chain postcard experience.
But then I thought, “How long till I get a dick pic?” So of course, I had to try it, just to see exactly how many nice, sincerely shared pictures I would get before the inevitable male genitals. Even though the terms say you can’t do that. But the problem with the Web is that it’s inhabited by people, and people do whatever they want.
I made a bet with myself. I decided three would be the magic number. The first Rando I got was a black cat from London. (If you double tap on a Rando, you can see where it came from if the user enabled location.) The odds were pretty good that a cat would be in the first three! Next was a piece of paper with something scientific or technical scribbled on it. No location. (Very mysterious… A secret formula?) And the third one was… City lights at night from St. Petersburg, Russia. I was glad I was wrong about number three.
What I love about this app is the total absence of other people (the social overkill is getting old). No comments, likes, sharing, resharing, friends, titles, captions, hashtags, filters… It’s just you and the pictures. It feels…quiet. And nothing comes in unless you send something out. I can see myself getting addicted. Not wild about the round pics though.
When you do finally get that undesirable pic, you can delete or report it by swiping left on it. (Eeeeww.)
Rando on the App Store
Pamela Poole put on her red cowboy boots and moved from San Diego to Paris in 2006. She's a translator and tech blogger who believes the Internet is the fountain of youth.