Digital penpals - Meet Slowly!

Friday, April 17th 2020

The current pandemic has left people all over feeling trapped and isolated. Ever wanted a penpal? This might be an idea for you.

At the moment, a lot of people are feeling similarly as regards to their social interactions - “I miss people!”

Don’t worry, I do too, and I think I speak for many people when I say we feel the same. There’s a lot that people seem to missing out on with not being able to get out and see friends. Of course we have video calling apps! Which allow us to keep in touch with those we already know and love!

But what about if you’re looking for a different experience, perhaps one that involves utter strangers on the internet? Well, I’ve got just the one for you!

Slowly logo

Meet Slowly! A digital penpal app. “But what’s the point in a digital penpal?” I hear you ask, “Isn’t that just texting?” Not really, it’s more akin to the old tradition of having penpals. Based on the location you are sending the message to, and the distance between you, Slowly will delay the delivery of your message. Now at first glance this seems like a bad idea. Who on earth would want to make themselves purposefully wait for a message when they can just instant message you?

My knowledge of it arose when a viral Tweet popped up mentioning the app. At that point it blew up! The tweet getting 300k+ likes, and the Slowly servers suffering a little bit. But all those issues have been resolved now, and so we have a nice little app to keep us preoccupied at this time.

The appeal?

Well that delay is also kind of the appeal. The absolute excitement of waiting hours to send and recieve messages between each other. It also encourages people write longer and more interesting messages - which is great! Having long and interesting conversations is what we want to tide us over, right?

As well, you can simply take the time to message someone whenever you want. You don’t really feel rushed to respond, as you know it may take a couple of hours to get to them anyways. It’s not like you have to sit down and have a continous conversation - you just get a delayed conversation. And like I said too, it forces people to be interesting - no more dry texting! (Unless you’re unlucky). But I haven’t met too many people who I’ve had bad or boring conversations with - everyone has been thoroughly interesting so far!

Features

Let’s talk about what this app can do, shall we?

Slowly incoming messages map

There’s a nifty little map feature in both the web app and mobile app. It’ll show you who’s message is coming the earliest, and map out where all your messages are coming from! “But doesn’t that leave me for doxxing?” Not really, the app will automatically spoof and randomise your location slightly, so your location is pretty much anonymous.

So how do you find people on this app? Well, every day you get an opportunity to browse through a selection of profiles. You can filter these selections by a variety of things - my favourite filter being the “Includes ‘About me’” filter. The ‘About Me’ of someones profile gives you a little look at who the person you’re about is like, and may give you more insenstive to send them a message.

There’s also the option each day to have a go at the lotto! Select a topic, and some other filters on who to send a message to, write the message - and it’ll be launched off into the stratosphere to up to 3 random people. You can untick their names if you don’t want them to recieve it, but I think it’s more fun just to send it and see where things go!

There’s also another option. In your profile you have a Slowly ID. You can send this to others and have them add your ID to send a friend request. My ID is 6EQ2W8. So if you want to get in touch, go ahead! I’d love to hear from you! :)

Rounding up

This app is pretty great! I’ve been taking the time to get to know about different people and cultures, as well as how they’re handling the current times. I’ve learned plenty about many different things throughout this timespan!

In terms of blogging news, I know that this is a shorter article, but your best off experiencing the app for yourself instead of reading me describing it to you. You’ll get what I mean when you hop on! I think I’m going to continue writing blogs on a Friday, as this currently falls in line with my free time. Site update should be coming soon! I’ve finally gotten blog article tags to work, which means you’ll be able to filter content by different topics that you’re interested in.

Until next time, I hope you guys have a good week! What will the next article be on? Who knows, I’m on a bit of a random roll at the minute.