Anti-Social Social Media App ‘Palmsy’ Is a Big High-Five to Self-Validation

Screw social media. You can say that as much as you want, but your on-and-off relationship with it is undeniably never-ending. The serotonin hit you get from seeing those likes rack up is real. On days it doesn’t, well, it hurts just as bad. Add a troll’s hurtful comments to the mix, and you have been officially promoted to feeling like a deflated balloon at a party. So, neither can you stop posting entirely nor keep the toxicity that stems from it at bay. What do you do?

Give up? Hell no.

It’s time to validate yourself into not needing that virtual clout anymore. That’s probably why this app called Palmsy (free) came into existence. A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this iOS app randomly floating through the internet.

Being an Android user for the better part of my life, I recently temporarily shifted to an iPhone 12 Pro to understand the ins and outs of iOS. So, it’s good that I had the means to try this app out. Talking about Palmsy, I remember reading somewhere, “An anti-social social media app.” Ummm, what again? As soon as I installed it though, I realized what that meant.

Welcome to Palmsy page

Although my social media posting has been dormant for some time now. When I do post, a major part of me does fish for validation. Yeah, I’m looking at you, fellow “public” Instagram account holders. While it’s only human nature, Palmsy does something surprisingly effective with it. Moreover, as developer Pat Nakajima stated on Threads:

is it useful? no not as such.
is it fun? kinda?
is it free? hell yea it is
” – Pat Nakajima, Palmsy developer

Palmsy is Hilariously Phony, and I’m all For it

At first, the app asks for permission to “access your contacts”. The reason behind it is simple. It uses your contact list to shower faux likes on your posts. The developer claims that all the data remains on the device and nothing is shared anywhere.

Palmsy Contact Access Request

As for the app itself, there’s literally nothing special going on the interface front. It lets you get straight to posting. Posting for yourself. That’s the entire point of it.

Palmsy iOS app interface

When posting, you can also set the number of likes and frequency at which these likes will pour in. You can set a maximum of 20 likes, which is intentional. This came with a recent update, and the What’s new in Palmsy? page had me with “If you need more than 20 likes, maybe try therapy?”.

Anti-Social Social Media App ‘Palmsy’ Is a Big High-Five to Self-Validation

Definitely a clever way of promoting the less-is-more philosophy. Have no expectations from social media, eh? I like that.

I really liked those adorable push notifications that Palmsy sends now and then to imitate social media validation. While you’re the one who’s fabricated those likes, the feeling of being somehow heard keeps you going. Every now and then, I found myself dropping silly posts on the platform. To me, this app turned out to be quite the self-reflecting journal.

Palmsy app notifications
Palmsy app notifications

My Posts Are Only Mine, Shoo!

Coming to the most important bit – privacy. This is where Palmsy really stood out for me. Two lines ago, I was talking about it being my app diary, and that’s because none of what I post goes to their server. It’s all stored locally on MY device, forever. So, all those moments you share on the platform are for only you to keep and see.

The app requires access to your contacts to only generate those fake likes. Nothing shady is going on here, and that gave me a lot of confidence to bring out the real me. Weird how BeReal couldn’t do that as its primary objective and soon, those privacy issues and so-called authenticity seemed, well, all too real.

Palmsy contacts liking a post

Even with Instagram or Snapchat, you probably think that your disappearing texts are safe, right? That’s not the case and while it is deleted from both devices, those texts are stored on these platform’s servers. So, ultimately, my private stuff is still somewhere out there and I just can’t shake off that feeling.

With Palmsy, none of those things matter because it is just a localized social media app with none of the downsides.

My social media usage has gone down over the years, anyway, and I’m tired of the algorithm at this point. By the end of it, all I need is a place to pour my heart out without trolls coming up with one-liners against it to scar me for life.

The Palmsy effect is, you learn to just embrace yourself in the weirdest way possible. That clout chase somehow started feeling very pointless and you realize that the only like you ever need is just yours. Definitely an impressive take on social media detox and self-revival. While this 2.1 MB app has a ways to go, it is good to see such an idea see some solid implementation.

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