The last thing any of us need are two more apps to throw away more hours of the day staring at phones instead of spending time with children/earning money/making dinner but these two really are quite addictive.  I was going to start writing this about an hour ago but Plague and Figure 1 now owe me that hour I’m never getting back.

Addictive Social Media Apps

Plague is an app through which you share content: photos, pithy one liners and GIFs are the most popular.  Once you post a photo, it is shown on the news board of the people nearest to you geographically.  They swipe up to spread it to their nearest users or swipe down to kill it.

start the infection

start the infection

The fun bit is seeing where the stuff has come from. A map showing the spread is available for each post.  New Zealand isn’t too heavy on Plague users, one of my closest was sunning himself on the Gold Coast.



What sets this apart slightly from the rest of the content sharing crew is that you can’t accrue followers or friends giving popular posters more airtime, so each post starts at the beginning again – to a limited number of people. The quality of the content (if a photo of a dog balancing a beer on its nose is deemed high quality) determines its success to be shared globally.

When to use this app: on the loo when your fibre intake is particularly low

Figure 1 is another sharing tool with more altruistic motives than Plague.  Medical and healthcare professionals post pictures and invite other professionals to comment.  Sharing medical information has always been a very touchy subject using technology and in particular, apps and social media.  Progression and investment in this area has been much slower than other highly technical industries but it’s all systems go now.  We wrote about Apple’s app Health on Scoop and the value of shared medical information and now Figure 1 is gaining momentum.

Enlarged tongue

Enlarged tongue

There is an obvious diagnostic benefit in sharing and discussing clinical issues but there is also the voyeuristic and ghoulish enjoyment similar to watching TV programs like Embarrassing Bodies.  It looks like Instagram for doctors and feels like medical porn.  This pic is a heart transplant from a 13 month old with Congenital Heart Disease.


When setting up an account you need to say what your job is.  In order to post on the app your medical credentials need to be verified so that no-one’s taking any notice if the person prescribing laxatives to the dysentry sufferer.

Face to face, doctors and surgeons always manage to keep a furrowed browed seriousness in their tone: ‘And how long have you had this engorged testicle, Mr Jones?’  On Figure 1, they mix up ‘I’m a doctor’ chat with giggly ‘bloody hell, how did he get that in there?’ quips.

When to use this app: in the pub, giggling with friends or the next day when you are a bit hungover and need to feel better about your general health.

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