Gas or Trash: An honest review on the app that’s taking high schools by storm

Colors seem brighter when they’re around you. 

Though you want to tell them, your words don’t align with your heart and as your tongue winds in frantic knots. Instead you say “You’re my favorite color.” Rest assured for all those whose words too often betray their feelings there is still one way to convey them clearly, rather one app to. Gas. The app where you can tell them how you feel without actually having to tell them personally. 

Released in August 2022 and targeted towards high-school students, Gas has become #1 in the app store, surpassing both TikTok and BeReal. The creators of Gas, Isaiah Turner, Dave Schatz, and Nikita Bier created this wholesome app to do just as the name suggests: “Gas people up.” A different take on social media, Gas, is among one of the first strides in building a social environment based solely in spreading positivity and kindness. 

A Video By the Wall Street Journal; WSJ personal-tech reporter Ann-Marie Alcántara joins host Zoe Thomas

If you’re not familiar with the app, here’s how it works: upon downloading you’re asked to sync your contacts and/or high school. Though this may raise some privacy concerns, the creators have promised this is just a means to efficiently create your “circle of trust”. Once your friends are added the real fun begins. Within every hour new polls are sent out, where you’re able to vote for the friend you think best exemplifies that category. 

So how does the app stay relevant if all you do is vote in a round of polls? That answer lies in the categories. Ranging from heartwarming superlatives like “Loved by everyone” to sillier ones like “Always picks Toad in Mario Kart ” and “Actually knows what’s on the other side of the rainbow”, it’s not hard to see how these are causing the app to thrive. Gas is providing the validation people aren’t constantly receiving in real life. 

Yes, some have argued that building a level of dependability on your confidence and wellbeing with your phone is unhealthy. I, however, am here to argue otherwise: in fact, I feel extremely healthy. There’s something so gratifying about your mind swirling, grappling from the prominent hit your Chemistry grade just took and then opening up Gas and receiving “Would def get into an Ivy League.” About contorting your smile in the mirror, twisting it in ways that never make you feel quite pretty enough, then opening up Gas and receiving “A smile that lights up the room.”

One of the “flames” or “gasses” I’ve received, clearly I’m always up. (Ella )

Additionally, it’s not so much about the validation as it is about the community it’s building. If you enable the app to search for friends based on your high school, you’re granting Gas the opportunity to create a united student body. Remember that one girl whose hair you couldn’t get enough of, the one who made you double take in the hallways with her vivacious skin and style that made her so inexplicably pretty. Or that guy who usually keeps to himself, but in the few times he has talked to you you’ve found him incredibly funny. Though you may not have gotten the confidence or time to tell them then, Gas gives you the chance to let people know they’re surrounded not just by students but friends. 

I will say though that despite the app’s main incentive of providing a veil of anonymity, if you’re getting Gas for the sole purpose of that anonymity, don’t get the app. It’s relatively easy to figure out who voted for you  based on who your friends are and who theirs are. In addition, there’s a feature known as “God Mode” that enables you to see who voted for you through a purchase of 5 dollars a week. Save your 5 dollars though because it isn’t worth it, not only do you spoil the basis of the app but you’re spoiling the fun of it. My first time using Gas, I remember finding it appalling that people were paying to know who thought they were smart or that they had a nice laugh; however, I soon realized this was not the case. 

The thing that’s keeping the app interesting for many are not the friendly superlatives but the appeal of receiving and giving flirtatious confessions. People can admit who their crushes are anonymously, voting for them in categories like “ I know it’s early but…… Will you be my Valentine?” and “Could see myself dating them one day” While these may be interesting to receive, I detest the fact that they are to give. Referring to what I said earlier there’s a very thin shroud of protection that prevents knowing who votes for you. Sure, if you’re someone who likes skydiving because of the adrenaline, by all means vote for your crush, thriving on the rush of knowing they might find out. I, however, will be perfectly content skipping those questions. 

Sure, Gas is worth the momentary hype it’s receiving, but like I said I’m sure it will be momentary. I love the idea but it’s easy to see how it will get repetitive outside the span of a month. There’s elements of the app that weaken my review but there’s one thing I fully back and that’s the message, as the creators have said:

Let’s use Gas to spur the growth of a new social media which genuinely strengthens relationships through positivity, authenticity, and kindness.