Though the hotline has since been taken down, you can still listen to some of the more artistic screams on the hotline's website.
Listen, we get it, therapy is expensive but we needed some way to let go of all the stress we have accumulated during the first 21 days of January (and, well, all of 2020). Those who just needed to let it all out were in luck because they had a hotline made just for them. When they rang Just Scream!, they could scream as loud as they wanted for as long as they wanted. Then, all they had to do was hang up and return to their average lives as if nothing ever happened. The app, created by frustrated elementary school teacher Chris Gollmar, was intended to reduce tension for those in search of an outlet, CNN reports.
In an interview with CNN, Gollmar shared, "I wanted to find a prompt that people would respond to and screaming seemed to be a good fit!" He launched the app just before Election Day in November (which is honestly just smart marketing on his part) after first working on the app in September last year. According to the elementary school teacher, he has been a coder and an artist ever since he was a young child. As an adult, he spends his free time working on "participatory art projects that invite people to call a phone number and leave a voicemail for others to hear."
This time around, he figured "it would be funny and unique to create a phone line just for screaming." Those who did choose to call his hotline were aware of another feature: their scream did not just disappear into the abyss of telephone signals. Calls to Just Scream! were recorded and then posted to a website Gollmar created, perhaps for the entertainment of others in search of some cheap relief. Those more "socially awkward" were delighted to know that all calls were diverted to an answering machine so they did not have to interact with a real person at any point during the call. The hotline has since been taken down.
So, why did folks call the hotline? As the Just Scream! website suggests, "To scream! You might be unhappy, terrified, frustrated, or elated. All of these are perfectly good reasons to call and record yourself screaming." Reportedly, the service was wildly popular: there are over 40,000 screams waiting to upload. Ever since he first launched the hotline a few months ago, Gollmar has received 70,000 calls. He said, "Never in my life would I have expected so many people to actually pick up the phone, dial a number and record themselves for the world to hear. But we're all screaming on the inside right now, so I guess I should have figured."
Now, Gollmar plans to work on a new project. He stated, "I've always intended it [the hotline] to be a limited-term project, a reflection of this point in time when, in addition to all the stress of the pandemic, we're also experiencing political turmoil in the United States. I've started thinking about it like a time capsule, in a way." If you are interested in listening to some screaming (because why not?), you can still head on over to the Just Scream! website.