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Palmsy is the new anti-social media app feeding our tech addiction

With artificial likes and follows, Palmsy replicates the dopamine hits we receive from social media whilst protecting our private information. But are these projects doing more harm than good? 

Social media dominates nearly every interaction we partake in nowadays. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is still up for debate, but it hasn’t stopped apps from trying to save us from ourselves.

From Calm to OFFTIME, tech companies are finding countless ways to forge ostensibly healthier relationships between us and our phones.

These paradoxical projects have adopted the moniker ‘anti-social social apps’, but perhaps none are as worthy of this name as Palmsy, the latest innovative platform attempting to re-write our relationship with social media.

The concept is simple: users can post texts and photos within Palmsy – to no one. By importing your contacts list, you allow the app to fabricate ‘likes’ from the people you know, even going as far as sending fake push notifications as if these people have interacted with your posts.


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Crucially, though, nothing ever actually leaves your phone. Your privacy is protected and you can enjoy the instant dopamine hits afforded by social-media engagement all by yourself.

According to Engadget, Palmsy is a journalist app that offers ‘fake likes from real friends.’ While the platform doesn’t explicitly state the reason behind its strange set-up, the most obvious explanation for a redundant app is to provide the dopamine hit offered by actual social media.

It’s no secret that social media isn’t great for our mental health. So, Palmsy provides a supposedly harmless way to enjoy your phone without the threats that come with public exposure.

It’s a tempting solution for those weary of the endless scroll and the perils of oversharing. Yet, it’s also a symptom of a deeper issue — a society so desperate for validation that it’s willing to settle for artificial affirmation.

And let’s not kid ourselves: apps like Palmsy are not a cure. They’re a Band-Aid – a temporary fix for a much larger problem. By commodifying human connection, Palmsy perpetuates a culture of superficiality and disengagement, further eroding the authenticity of our online interactions.

And let’s not forget the broader implications. Palmsy’s existence raises uncomfortable questions about the role of technology in shaping our social landscape.

What does it say about us that we’re so willing to embrace a digital placebo? And what responsibility do tech companies bear in addressing the underlying issues driving our addiction?

Surely our time would be better spent confronting the truths that define our digital landscapes? Otherwise, we risk losing ourselves in a sea of likes and follows, forever chasing the illusion of connection.

Palmsy’s emergence highlights the alarming extent of our addiction to social validation. In a world where likes and follows are currency, it’s easy to see why an app like Palmsy might find a receptive audience. After all, who wouldn’t want a quick fix for their social media woes?

But instead of encouraging genuine connection, it offers a hollow substitute—a digital mirage that leaves us feeling emptier than before. And in doing so, it perpetuates a cycle of dependence that only serves to deepen our addiction.

The question then centres around what we’re willing to lose in the pursuit of social-media interaction. In Palmsy’s case, it seems we’re willing to sacrifice reality.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of Palmsy is its impact on our perception of reality. We live during a time when the truth is increasingly subjective. The line between digital and physical worlds is blurring by the day, and we’re always at risk of losing touch with the very things that make us human.

So where do we go from here? The answer lies not in apps like Palmsy, but in a fundamental re-evaluation of our relationship with technology. That means setting boundaries, practising mindfulness, and prioritising genuine human connection over artificial validation.

Whilst relying on apps to fulfil these efforts can feel counterintuitive, starting at the source can sometimes be the most effective approach. And there are certain platforms out there that offer healthy tech interaction away from the concept of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’.

Apps like ‘Calm’ are a great way to integrate mindfulness into our phone-usage. While opting for screen-time managers can help us digitally detox.

In the end, Palmsy is just another symptom of a larger problem – one that raises the question: are we content with substituting real connection with artificial validation? It’s a dilemma that demands thoughtful consideration as we navigate the complexities of our digital age.