With the city currently in the throes of local awards fever, Milwaukee Record presents The Randoms, a series of highly specific and delightfully arbitrary “best of” awards that do away with pesky voting and feigned attempts at impartiality. Throughout the week, we’ll be recognizing the people, organizations, and places that help elevate life in Milwaukee. This week is sponsored by Boone & Crockett, 2016’s Best Bar With A Taco Truck Out Back (Bay View).

There’s a lot of talk these days of breaking through one’s social media echo chamber. Both by design and via our own actions, sites like Facebook and Twitter tend to reinforce our preexisting beliefs and ignore and block opposing ones. This creates two separate online realities, realities that warp and distort our views of the real world. Also, Facebook and Twitter are awful, just awful. Is there anything more insufferable, more tedious than the endless junk that otherwise good people see fit to share on these sites? Remember when social media was just the cliche of cats and pictures of someone’s breakfast? Can we go back to that, please?

Enter Rex, a social media app for people who have just about had it with social media. Created by Milwaukee filmmaker Chris Smith (American Movie) and launched in May 2016, Rex is an elegant and deceptively simple recommendation app. Jazzed about a cool new TV show, movie, book, podcast, or restaurant? Recommend it with Rex. Looking for a cool new TV show, movie, book, podcast, or restaurant? See what your friends (or Rex itself) is recommending, and save the things that pique your interest to your conveniently organized “vault.” And that’s it. No memes, no political rants from someone you went to high school with, no fake news sites. Just cool stuff, recommended by cool people.

The one thing Rex could use? More users. The app drew the early interest of investors like Tobey Maguire and Barry Levinson, and got a boost from non other than Jimmy Fallon, but it could still use more virtual bodies. So download the little sucker for your phone today, recommend some shit, and leave the echo chamber clutter behind.

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