Thrust into a longer history of writing, Kik sits as a source of seduction as valid as Shakespeare’s Dark Lady sonnets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s , or Virginia Woolf’s letters to Vita Sackville-West, or Vita’s to Virginia.
Like a projection on a silver screen, you remake meaning, words flicker and fade, reborn in your own image.
You thrill to the language, respond with rapid heartbeats and quickened breaths and damp panties.
Launched in 2009 by Canadian tech company Interactive, Kik is unusual for its anonymity.
You don’t have to provide a telephone number to create an account, and the app automatically deletes messages after a short, undisclosed amount of time.
Letters saved until night were, in Richardson’s time, one of the very few private spaces afforded to women, especially young women; these days, messaging that can’t be surveilled operates the same way, for only in unseen spaces can we fancy ourselves the most adult.
“My sweet-eyed blackguard schoolgirl,” wrote James Joyce to Norah Barnacle, “my mistress, as much as you like (my little frigging mistress! ).” Sprinkle the line with dancing ladies in red and it could be a text message.
Not for nothing, Kik flies under the parental radar.
Unlike Snapchat, another app for sharing evanescent moments, most adults have never heard of Kik; unlike i Message, Kik doesn’t allow parents to monitor their kids’ messages from their own i Phones or i Pads.
Anonymity, to me, is trash; pseudonymity is treasure. Back then, I acted under a stage name, and I wrote under a pen name.