Thursday, June 30, 2016

A VIEW FROM THE BACK: I Have a Secret..., The Beauty of the Whisper App by Aimee Teplitskiy

By Aimee Teplitskiy
  Throughout the duration of our lives, we are constantly dependent on the company and the assistance of others. As children, we depend on our parents for clothing, food, shelter, and education. As we enter our adult life the dynamic shifts, and we need to stop leaning on our parents for constant support. Instead, we lean on our friends. We live with roommates, go on vacations with our friends, and begin to develop relationships. As grown adults, we hopefully marry and start a family. We rely on our spouse for company, and any support we may need throughout the rest of our lives. Essentially, in every phase of our lives, we surround ourselves with people we can turn to for support.

        The play A View From the Back, by Yi Shi, really exposes how dependent we are on others be they someone we love, or a complete stranger. This play reflects on the different ways that we rely on others, and the different ways that we can be there for and support others. 

        Supporting someone can be interpreted in the literal sense:
Shi, Yi
helping someone sustain themselves by providing them with food, clothing, shelter, and anything else they would need to survive. It can also be something like providing services for someone, like a waiter or a taxi driver. To me, the most significant form of support is emotional support. Every single one of us knows what it is like to have an awful day, or a secret that you really want to share, but know you cannot. I know that when I have those days, the thing I need the most is company. I need to share my thoughts and feelings with someone and have them sympathize without any judgments.

        But sometimes, I am not completely comfortable sharing with my friends or family. Sometimes I am worried they might judge or be condescending of me, and I know I am not the only one that feels this way. There are so many people out in the world who need to confide their feelings and secrets in someone - so they go to the Whisper app. The Whisper app is an app where people anonymously upload the things they need to share most with someone, but are not comfortable sharing with the close people in their life. People can comment on the things others post, showing sympathy or suggesting ways to improve a situation. 

        Some of the confessions I find on Whisper are truly touching. They make me really empathize and connect with the person that wrote them. Others are hilarious and embarrassing stories that make me laugh. And of course, there are those that make me angry or uncomfortable because of their language or their content, but it is nonetheless fascinating to see how many secrets people have, and how comfortable they are with putting them out on the internet. 

        Even for people who do not feel comfortable posting their secrets online, Whisper really helps make you feel like you are not alone. Though I myself have never posted on Whisper, I have come across countless posts that I really related to. It amazes me how two people at entirely different points in their lives, and in two entirely different locations in the world, can be experiencing the same things as one another. But though Whisper is a great way to simply share how you are feeling and find others that feel the same way as you do, receiving support from random strangers is not as fullfilling and meaningful as receiving support from the people who love you.

        It is important to keep in mind that the people behind the screen do not know you. They do not care for you and your well-being the same way your loved ones do. Even though the internet is a great place to find someone who can relate to our problems, and it is helpful to know that we are not alone in our struggle, the only way to really help ourselves is too confide in those closest to us. Though they may not completely understand what we are going through, they will try their hardest and do everything in their power to make us feel better in a way that nobody else can. 

        A View From the Back recognizes this human need for sympathy and support from strangers, and shows how imperative it is for us to try and be there for others. It demonstrates how we never really know what is going on in the lives of the people around us, and that we need to be sympathetic towards the problems of others because pain is relative. Yi Shi uses a seemingly every day and mundane aspect of life, like a taxi driver, to reflect one of the most fundamental pieces of human interaction.

        Sharing personal thoughts is easy when it is done anonymously through the internet. It is easy to connect with a post on a Whisper page, or to get sympathetic comments on posts of your own. But how does this anonymous sharing of information help us learn to deal with the problems we face? If we cannot confront the people closest to us about our problems, we are not ready to deal with these problems ourselves. I can only hope that sites on the internet like Whisper can give us the courage and the drive to confront our issues and allow our loved ones to help us through the hardships of life.

        What are some ways that we can become more comfortable opening up to our loved ones? What are some of your experiences with opening up to friends and family?
Let us know below!!!

        A View From the Back will be playing in the
Strawberry One-Act Festival on
July 16 (Saturday) at 5pm,
July 17 (Sunday) at 3pm,
July 20 (Wednesday) at 9pm. 

The performance will take place at the Theatre at St. Clement’s at 423 West 46th Street, NYC, between 9th and 10th avenue. Tickets can be purchased online at

        A VIEW FROM THE BACK by Yi Shi
Who contemplates the questions of love and death in a taxi? A mosquito.
Saturday, July 16th at 5pm, Sunday, July 17th at 3pm &
Wednesday, July 20th at 9pm

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