There are plenty of reasons you wouldn’t want to talk to someone in person. Perhaps you had a fight and it’s awkward to initiate communication again. Perhaps you have something difficult to say. Perhaps you’re feeling passive aggressive. Well fortunately, it’s the 21st century, and that means we never ever have to endure awkwardness again.
Now, you could always text or email, but sometimes those modes of communication are inappropriate or insufficient. Sometimes you need a more personal touch to your digital communications. A goofy new app from filmmaker Miranda July and Miu Miu has the solution.
Somebody, the app is called, helps you find strangers to verbally deliver messages for you.
When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. The most high-tech part of Somebody is not in the phone, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to a stranger. Half-app / half-human, Somebody is a far-reaching public art project that incites performance and twists our love of avatars and outsourcing — every relationship becomes a three-way. The antithesis of the utilitarian efficiency that tech promises, here, finally, is an app that makes us nervous, giddy, and alert to the people around us.
For a better sense of how it works, check out its site and watch this silly video that shows a few scenarios of how it could work. The video is actually part of Miu Miu’s video series Women’s Tales, which by the way you should check out right after you download the app.