Flyner.com was first suggested to me by one of my best friends who happens to be living currently in a different state then I am. The way she phrased it was something like this. “It is like using an IM system such as Google Chat from Gmail, but you don’t know who the other person is. There are no user names, no group chats, no photos. Like a message in a bottle, you send it out there and someone will get it. They may even reply.”
I was a little skeptical at first, it sounded like another chatroom styled thing without the group chats. Am I still going to get the annoying ASL? Or horrid pick up lines/anything raunchy that comes with that territory?
Flyner’s website offers this up as an intro on their description:
What’s on your mind? Write it down in a note and send it flying around the globe. A stranger, near or far, will receive your message and you could have a conversation. In fact, here you’ll have lots of conversations all happening in parallel.
The only thing it requires is an email address and a password. This is according to them just so that you can store your conversations after leaving. So I decided to give it a try, after all when sitting bored waiting in line at the DMV or wanting to share a though not on a social network where your friends and family follow you, it could pass the time. A quick and painless sign up later and I was there, an empty box waiting to be filled with words to be sent away or “launched” (a paper airplane is their logo picture). I just had to figure out what to say! Throwing it out there, I put out a thought on a recent news article I read about people being able to change their eye color from brown to blue with lasers, and how I found it a little disturbing.
Out into the universe of Flyner it went, some random person automatically “catching” it. They could respond, or ignore it till it faded away from their Bin. (Messages are saved in the Bin for a limited time if not many back and forth messages are there in the single conversation. A save bin is there for longer conversations though only saved for 24 hours with no reply). Automatically after sending my message I received on in return from a stranger. They asked, “what unusual or unique talent do you have?” A simple and interesting question. “Well, I can read at incredible speeds and retain most of the information. Example, I have read each Harry Potter book in under 24 hrs individually, and can recall most if not all of each storyline to this day”. And send…and reply! Also a reply from the message I sent!
This is the basics of it. You can send as many as you like, and so far I have not reached a word limit in my messages. If you wait long enough without responding, you can get random “catch” boxes that you can click on to respond to without sending one out. To my happy surprise, most of the conversations have been interesting or silly, something to keep me engaged even if only for a few messages back and forth. Sadly, there have been a few that I found offensive or just uninteresting, and I just ignore them. There have been five conversations now that were easily more then twenty messages back and forth. One of which was someone essentially being a GM and me a player where they proposed a situation and I responded how I would react.
Overall, this can be a fun and interesting way to pass the time. You don’t have to become too involved or share any personal details. You can pick up and put down easily, and talk to some interesting folks from around the world.
To note, I know you can access this on Android phones through their website, but I don’t know about Apple phones or tablets.