Great Update reporter, Josh Freeman, recently sat down with Dan Heller and Eric Armond, to discuss the launch of their Anti-Social Media Platform, “Hermit”. The following is an excerpt from their conversation.
Josh Freeman: So first off, anti-social media, where did this idea come from?
Eric: Well, after five years on Facebook I finally got to a point where if I had to read one more post about how “blessed” someone’s life was, I was gonna fuckin’ kill myself. So the idea for Hermit definitely stemmed from there.
Dan: Right. We figured there was a huge untapped market for this stuff. People want a platform to help them disconnect and lose touch, where they can violate social norms and exercise their lack of consideration for the well-being of others.
Eric: Anti-Social Media is a new concept to most, so here’s what I like to tell people: imagine a website that’s a cross between the middle finger and a bag of Doritos. That’s Hermit.
Josh Freeman: Cool. So let’s talk about the user experience. What should I expect when I log in to my Hermit account?
Eric: Good question. Let me take you through it. From the moment you open Hermit, our first priority is to get you to a mental place conducive to anti-social behavior.
Dan: Basically we’re trying to bum you out to the point where you don’t want to leave your house or talk to another human being.
Eric: That’s exactly right. And the best way to do this–we’ve found–is with actual news stories. Now, we’re not trying to be The New York Times here. We just want to deliver a quick shot of terrible news, to get you to a bad mental place.
Dan: We’re essentially sprinkling rose petals on the bed. You log in and BAM: here are two or three of the shittiest news stories on the internet. We’re setting the scene for you: life is meaningless; bad things happen to good people; there is no god. Now go lose some life-long friends.
Eric: Exactly. And with Hermit, losing friends is easier than ever before. Hermit is packed with anti-social functionality: There are “dislike” and middle finger buttons on all posts. There are customizable “block” notifications. You’ve heard of “checking in” on Facebook? Well, on Hermit, you can “Check Out,” and Hermit will actually block all incoming calls, text messages, and emails across all of your devices. You can even setup custom, snotty auto-replies or choose from stock classics like “fuck off”.
At Hermit, we really want to make your transition from well-liked to friendless recluse as engaging as possible. There are fun isolation challenges to partake in. You earn points and badges as you build your “blocked” list and further withdraw from society.
Dan: Can I just tell a quick personal story here? So I recently earned my level 5 misanthrope badge. There are 10 levels in all. You can learn about that later, but when you hit level 5, you’re able to comment anonymously on all posts, and I have to say, it’s the best thing ever.
Dan: You can finally say exactly what’s on your mind, completely unrestricted by the rules of polite society and nobody will ever know it’s you!
Josh Freeman: Out of curiosity, what kinds of things might you say?
Dan: Literally anything. That’s the beauty of it. “Wow, Chris, you’ve gained some weight in your face.”
Eric: “Your kid sucks.”
Dan: “Quit yoga.” Stuff like that.
Josh Freeman: Wow, sounds really fun.
Eric: Definitely. With Hermit, one of our main goals was to reinforce people’s worst instincts about life and humanity in general, and I think we really pulled it off.
Josh Freeman: Totally. Well, we’ve got time for one more question. Where do you both see yourselves in five years?
Eric: Definitely at our houses.
Josh Freeman: And what about Hermit? Where do you see that going?
Eric: Well we’re currently working with Dominos on a new feature that will allow Hermit users to actually print pizzas off the internet. If all goes to plan, it’s gonna change the game.