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The App That Recreates Social Media’s Dopamine Hits Without Actually Letting You Post Anything

One of the irresistible allures of social media has always been the dopamine hit from people engaging with the things that you post. Getting likes feels good. What if you could create that same feeling without the toxic repercussions that come from just posting to chase this engagement? A new app called Palmsy offers an interesting solution – letting you post anything you like without uploading it anywhere. 

On Palmsy, your posts remain privately on your phone and the app generates randomized “likes” from people in your contact list. The best description I found for how it works came from Boing Boing, which suggested that “Palmsy operates under the same principle as a toy steering wheel for toddlers in a shopping cart. Your friends aren’t really responding to your posts, you’re just talking to yourself.”

Just like smokers turning to nicotine gum instead of cigarettes, this feels like an incrementally less negative substitute that masks (but doesn’t really address) the underlying problem. Still, I suppose it’s better than leaving the problem unchecked. 

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Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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