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App requests IRL stalker for one day

Work & Lifestyle

Follower is an art project by Lauren McCarthy, which lets users request a real-life follower to shadow them for a day.

Social media continues to evolve, and we recently saw a platform that enable users to create multiple anonymous personas. Artist Lauren McCarthy has created a project called Follower where users can request a real-life stalker for a day.


Users in New York can apply to be a part of Follower, and if selected, they are invited to download the app. McCarthy, who is currently the only follower, will locate the user via their smartphone’s GPS and shadow them for one day. She stays close by without revealing herself, watching the user go about their daily routine. At the end of the day, participants receive a message to say they are no longer being followed, and are sent a single photo of themselves from that day. The project probes the user to question their desire to be ‘seen’, and experiments with whether or not this need can be fulfilled by someone actually observing their life, rather than the ‘likes’ that they accumulate on social media.

McCarthy is an MIT-grad who has caught our attention before with her app that gives friendship advice based on the user’s heart rate. Is there potential for the art project to be adapted into a business, and offer frequent users of social media the ultimate “follower experience”, while ensuring personal privacy and security?



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