OKITE is a Japanese alarm clock app. It's designed to help users wake up, but with a twist: it sends embarrassing messages to the user's Twitter account every time they hit snooze.
Tofugu, a blog covering Japanese culture, points out that this type of public shaming is uniquely punishing in Japan:
The interesting cultural thing about this app is the whole public shaming thing. In America when you do something shameful it’s all about the person doing the shameful thing. “What’s wrong with you?” “Why would you do that?” etc. In Japan, it’s kind of the opposite. When someone does something shameful, it’s always “What will the neighbors think?” and “What will your classmates think?” Public shame is the most terrifying motivator of all in Japan, and this app plays right in to that.
The app sends out a wide variety of Tweets, some silly and some downright odd.
"From today on I'm going to head to work via unicycle."
"I want to buy a fast red Ferrari and a horse!"
"Just as I thought, I want to become a stewardess."
OKITE is available free on the App Store, but only in Japanese. It isn't localized into English. [iTunes]
Top Rated Comments
In a way, it's sad how people in the USA don't give a **** what others think.
I've heard that some Japanese CEOs who drive their companies into bankruptcy commit suicide due to the shame. Anyone know if that's true? I know this sounds horrible, but in some ways, that sounds a bit better than those American CEOs who get the golden parachutes worth millions of dollars. I'm sure there are some that worked their a**es off to prevent their companies from being even worse, but, IMO, they weren't good enough to deserve millions.
Seeing that I am likely to tweet this anyway, I find this app utterly useless. :p