Fueling tension: Gas App


Screenshot from Gas App

Caroline Sieling, Staff Reporter

High school comes with a difficult set of social troubles, due to the recent release of the Gas App and its spread in popularity at Sequoia primarily among 9th graders, a new layer of pressure is added that students must learn to manage.

Gas is a social app advertised for users above the age of 12. It allows users to anonymously answer polls about their peers and is primarily used by high school students. The app, formally known as “Crush,” was made available nationwide on Nov. 25, and has since gained many teenage users. It has made its way up the charts at some points even surpassing popular apps like “Tik Tok” and “BeReal.”  Many students have gotten the app because of encouragement from friends and classmates.

“I got it just because a lot of people were saying that it was fun and that it was like a good way to  […] learn about people in your school,” freshman Anika Keshavan said.

The app is designed in a way that can leave many people wanting more; it allows users to answer a maximum of 12 polls hourly unless the user decides to share the app to someone in their contacts that is not already using Gas. 

“It’s kind of addicting because you can just keep clicking. And also, [people] want to know what other people are saying about them and what people think about them,” Keshavan said.

The mystery of ‘who said what’ can spark quite a bit of curiosity among users of the app. This is likely the reason why Gas offers a number of in-app purchases all based around their ‘God Mode’ feature. This purchase is advertised for $6.99 per week and grants the user access to many new features. With Gas’ ‘God Mode,’ users can “Reveal Two Names Per Week,” “Get Unlimited Hints,” “Get Double Coins,” get “Secret Crush Alerts” and “Send Polls Anonymously,” according to the app’s official app store description. 

These features can provide users with answers to many of their questions and can be very intriguing for those who regularly use the app. It can cause people to care much more about what those around them may think of them.

“I don’t like how you can’t see what people say about you because I want to know if somebody says something about me. I want to know if somebody has a crush on me. I want to know if somebody thinks I’m pretty,” freshman Joy Cornejo Barajas said.

Photo by: Caroline Sieling

The paid subscription can be very tempting to many users, it does not come without flaws, it can reveal things that many would have likely preferred to keep anonymous. If someone with a subscription decides to reveal a name, it can reveal what someone else thinks of them which is easy to influence your opinion of them.

“Most of [it is] anonymous, but if you pay you see what someone says about you, [like] if they say something bad about you[…], that can make you feel like you’re not friends,” Keshavan said.

With an app primarily focused on answering questions anonymously about classmates and being advertised as being a place to ‘see who likes you,’ students have mixed feelings about the app and many have very strong opinions. With apps that blow up so quickly like Gas, many people are skeptical about the longevity of the app.

“I think it’ll just be a fad, I’m not sure there will be a future. I think it’s an app that is generally useless,” freshman Dominic Sweet said.

If the developers wish for the app to maintain its popularity, many users want updates and changes to the app. Adding new features to attract users to spend more time on the app and providing more personal features could be very beneficial for developers.

“I think [for] the future of the app, maybe it might turn into something like Snapchat […] maybe there’ll be a messaging [option],” Cornejo Barajas said.

Most students agreed that overtime the app will likely change users’ perspectives on themselves and others around them. It could create confidence or even insecurities.

“I think that a lot of students will be more secretive. Or maybe change their appearance,” Cornejo Barajas said.

Since all of the app’s polls are used multiple times for many people, it is likely that a student would be voted for some categories multiple times. In cases where students are voted under one category multiple times, it can be seen why students may take polls more personally as it can be much more challenging to ignore when multiple people have similar opinions about someone.

“I think it could make people care a lot more about what other people think about them and make them feel more self conscious,” Keshavan said.