From dining hall fails to embarrassing confessions, SideChat is all the rage right now at Barnumbia. After an interview with an avid poster and chats with other community members, Staff Writers Mila Noshirvani and Maren Frey get down to the real hot gossip.
Picture this: you’re stuck in that one class that drives you to extreme boredom. You check your phone countless times in hope of finding an escape from the tedium of the lecture. It’s then when you get the notification. I mean THE notification. That beautiful, tear-faced, pink icon pops up, and suddenly, relief washes over you as you find yourself cackling at a craftily written SideChat post.
Whether you discovered SideChat through the NSOP Insomnia Cookies giveaway or from word of mouth, it wouldn’t be surprising if you find yourself scrolling through the app daily, laughing at the shockingly relatable content—or not. We won’t judge. From embarrassing emails to a professor, reflections on the Hello Kitty meal at Ferris, to some straight-up freshman hazing—every five seconds, there’s a new post to see.
The app’s anatomy is 100% anonymous. Similar to most social medias, there is a comment and direct message feature. SideChat’s version of a “like” button is aptly named the upvote and there is also a downvote feature, the version of a “dislike.” One gains “Karma” points for each upvote their post receives and in turn, your “Karma” can get you on the leaderboard for the community you posted for. These communities range from the Columbia Community (which is our focus today) to “SNKRS” and “Only Pollls,”. You can also “quote” a post, essentially reposting it and adding your own commentary, not unlike a “quote tweet” on Twitter. SideChat posts are often laugh-out-loud funny and brutally honest, something that is often missing on social media apps today.
We’ve included a few of our favorite SideChat posts below:
What the Barnumbia Community Thinks
To gauge the Barnumbia community’s feeling about SideChat, we spoke to some students, and let’s just say, the hype is REAL.
Elike Khosravani, BC ’27, saw that we were writing an article about SideChat and exclaimed that she had just downloaded the app yesterday. She shared, “My friend was on it during dinner and she kept showing me the posts. She showed me one that said something like: ‘It’s okay if you gain the freshman 15 as long as it’s not a fetus.’” Khosravani admitted she had originally downloaded it during NSOP (but only for the free cookie) and then deleted it “literally two seconds later.”
Others find SideChat much more amusing, like Elsie Cohen, BC ’27, who said that the app is “one of my major forms of entertainment… I love seeing everyone’s hot takes and opinions… because people tend to be very funny there.” The SideChat hype is continuous with upperclassmen at Columbia, too. Christian Gomes, CC ’25, dubbed SideChat a “chill app” and “the fun version of Twitter,” Gomes appreciates the relatable content, especially during stressful semesters when everyone seems to be posting about their struggles. However, he also noted, “Sometimes it gets annoying with people trying to stir up stuff or when they are mean to freshmen.” (See post below.)
Sharing a similar sentiment to Gomes on SideChat’s downfalls, Alex Raftopoulos, CC ’25, mentioned that, “Sometimes people blow things out of proportion” in posts. Nevertheless, the overall feedback on SideChat leans towards the positive, with many finding comfort in its anonymous embrace. Rachel Chih, BC ’27, summed it up well, stating, “SideChat is a place where Columbia students can let loose without worrying about society’s expectations.”
A Peek Inside the Mind of an Avid Poster
We talked with an avid poster on the app, Victoria Borja, BC ‘27, to dive deeper into the SideChat phenomenon. She describes SideChat as “a place for my intrusive thoughts” and expressed how it allows for a “release of emotions… that I can’t express to people.” When posting the SideChat post below, Borja felt like she was sharing a “relatable experience that many Barnard students experience at one point in time.”
So, enough with all this Fiz and Yik Yak nonsense (SideChat’s alleged competition). SideChat is obviously the place to be—where students can learn, participate, and cultivate community and culture. And just so you know, one of us has posted on SideChat five times since we started writing this article—because once you start, there’s no turning back!
All photos via Bwog Staff