After fours years and a half as international students, we have recently discovered what it means to be chronically sad, something we never experienced in our home countries but so often heard of in the United States due to its social structure. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. 1 out of 5 adults have a mental health condition. That's 40 million Americans. 75% of those 40 million remain untreated. The result is that 1 million individuals take their lives every year. One of the methods used to improve mental health and boost self-esteem in group sessions is to have the participants write something nice, or something they like about the other members of the group. When individuals receive the messages from the other members an automatic improvement of the mood, levels of self-esteem and overall mental health occurs. If we translate this simple and very effective exercise into a digital platform, the simple action of sending a message can make someone's life a little happier.
What it does
ShareLove is a private social media application. It is private because individuals do not have public profiles. The user can request messages of kindness and positive reinforcement from all his/her contacts or from a minimum of three individuals. This decision is due to an intent to avoid flirting one on one. The purpose of the App is to share kindness not to develop romantic relationships. The contacts to whom a request was sent will receive a notification and have the opportunity of answering with a message or discarding the request. When the user receives a message, he/she will receive a notification. The message will be anonymous and can be collected in the Mason Jar or discarded. The Mason Jar is where all the messages collected will remain to reread when feeling down, or in need of some love. The App also allows the user to send messages to his/her contacts without receiving an specific request. Because we all love to be surprised with a random act of kindness! We decided to also add to the App a library of motivational and uplifting quotes to provide the user with an opportunity to meditate on inspirational words. The creation of the App is inspired by mental health issues but it is designed for everyone to enjoy because we all have bad days, and everyone needs love!
How we built it
HTML, CSS, TypeScript, MongoDB, JavaScipt, Canva
Challenges we ran into
Probably the biggest challenge has been the stability of the team. We started off as three members, eventually became five and in the second half of the hackathon three of the members left without announcing that they would not come back. In the last few hours of the event someone from another team that was also abandoned joined us. The project was carried out by only two people and one of us has no technical skills, making all the coding fall into the hands of only one person.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The idea The concept of a social media App which focus is making other people happy is innovative and drives away from the trend of platforms that elevates the individual and promotes consumerism as it creates feelings of dissatisfaction, loneliness, and envy.
The design The design is clean, detailed and we love the visual simplicity of the project.
Our commitment Despite the fact that we had people disappear from the project and we found the process of development out of the reach of our skill set, we stayed until the end trying different options because we truly believe in the potential impact of the application.
What we learned
The major learning we acquired through this experience is to never give up! We improved our problem solving skills, and creativity. Probably something we could overlook is the ability of staying joyful and positive through the process. When knowing that we wouldn't be able to achieve our goals we decided to make the most of this experience and enjoy the process.
What's next for ShareLove
To make it work!! :)