Thursday September 12, 2013 | 08:30 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

If you're anything like me, you regularly wander around worrying about having something in your teeth or exposing yourself because your fly is down. Even worse, you're sure that everyone in your path has noticed but no one has the guts to tell you. Well, with the launch of the app Hot Mess your days of mortification are over. The app solves the universal nightmare of unknowingly walking around with a huge chunk of spinach in your teeth by allowing people to send you anonymous text messages alerting you to the situation(s). Users choose from a variety of standard texts of Hot Mess’ own creation, like “teeth gunk,” “dragon breath,” “eye boogers," and “nose nuggets."

Hot Mess sends a discreet text message letting a person know that “An angel has sent you a hint,” and they should read it in a private place. The text includes a link to a description of the problem accompanied by a very flattering photo of one of the creators demonstrating the issue. It's also important to note that all messages and images are pre-programmed so users can’t use the app to bully others, keeping Hot Mess helpful and positive. I love it! This is just the app I've been waiting for.

The app was created by Neil Mansilla and Rob Zazueta and was recently introduced at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco.

“This is intended to break a social taboo,” said Mansilla. “If someone is a close talker and has halitosis, or is too loud, it’s hard to share that without offending them. Why? You’re doing them a disservice by not telling them.”

The goal is that Hot Mess will help create a social climate where people will happily tell each other to go blow their nose. “The giver gets good karma and the recipient won’t feel bad because they think the intent is genuine. I think everyone can completely relate to this, which is why it's funny,” Mansilla continued.

The app would be particularly useful in professional situations, Zazueta and Mansilla said, where looking like a slob seriously affects peoples' perception of you, and co-workers might not feel comfortable making a comment.

Let's hope they get this thing up on iTunes STAT. I'll finally be able to eat spinach with confidence.

And remember, just like they say in the airport, "If you see something, say something."



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About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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