My idea is to create an app that enables people to enjoy meaningful connection with others without meeting face to face. In order to do this I have focussed on some rules and principles for online connection: 1. Empathy. Users can subscribe to the ‘empathy zone’ to assist sufferers - either people with CV-19 or people affected eg medics on the front line, entrepreneurs whose businesses have collapsed, People home schooling their kids or stuck at home with a difficult partner etc.. Strict protocols will be requested and observed to ensure they identify aspects of their own experience to make the sufferer feel heard and understood. They will not offer advice or use ‘sympathy’. They will not be mental health ‘professionals’ - counsellors, therapists etc as this is a peer to peer app. They will not offer services eg online tuition. They will not try to market or sell anything. 2. Vulnerability. Users can subscribe to the ‘vulnerability’ zone to have a place to express their true thoughts and feelings, their frustrations, challenges, fears and pain. Some people will choose to subscribe to both zones, which is fine as helping is also healing.. Moderators will ensure guidelines are adhered to. For a fee upgrade (or for free, depending on various factors) subscribers will be able to make video calls through the app and become connection buddies. Again strict protocols will be observed including absolute confidentiality. This is not a place for small talk, chit chat or pretence. People will have to identify and be verified by profession so for example business owners can talk to other business owners, medics to other medics etc. But they will also be able to choose whether they are willing to go outside their ‘tribe’ to support or engage with others. The overall aim is to promote mental health and combat isolation at this super challenging time. But this could work beyond CV-19 to help anyone experiencing tough times.
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