Brighten lights up OHS, but casts a shadow


Drake Logan

In the “Information Era” the OHS millennials have been raised in, new social media applications appear all the time. Only a few really stick, though.


For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have been around for several years, and have been embedded into the lifestyle of not only the typical high school student, but also adults that are out of school.


People have often been concerned about bullying and negativity on these apps, since it is believed that people become more bold behind a keyboard. The 21st century even coined the term ‘“Cyberbullying.”


However, in the dynamic society OHS students live in today, many people have tried to combat that problem. So when the app Brighten hit the Apple Store, it slowly worked its way into the webs of Oxford High.


The app is designed quite simply. A person creates an account with their name, picture and the works. Upon completion of the account setup, one adds friends to their account; however, the request must first be accepted by the person they are adding.


Sounds just like any other app, right? Wrong. And the internet lingo is keeping up well.


“It’s kind of like Yik Yak and mixed. Folks be roasting folks out here. No chill out here, fam,” sophomore Graham Norris said.


Brighten was designed to do just that: brighten someone’s day. Developed by Bucknell University student Austin Kevitch in 2013, the app allows you to send anonymous “Brightens” to your friends. With a wave of talk about the app inside the walls of OHS, people have become riddled with bullying on the app, but also there are some bright spots. Some people are using the app the way it was intended, sending nice compliments to people to brighten their day.


“I have the app. It’s funny. It’s just to have fun because most people don’t say mean things,” junior Thomas Hoskins said.


The pendulum of social media and the connected world OHS students experience every day swings hard both ways. Apps like “Brighten” appear to be different in their delivery compared to apps like “Yik Yak” that tormented OHS just a couple years ago.


Brighten puts the individual in a position to say whatever they want to want to whoever they want, which can be scary. Apps like these are a test of anonymous human character, which can be a blessing or a curse. Only time will tell.


“Brighten may be the worst thing to happen ever,” said senior Pepper Boutwell.