Connecting with others has never been easier than in the present day. But this connectivity is a double-edged sword. While some forty percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated, according to the 2018 US Loneliness Index, increased social media use has been linked with heightened feelings of social isolation,especially in young people.
Wisdo, an Israeli mental wellness startup, wants to harness the power of online communities to lift people out of emotional pain by connecting with each other through shared experiences.
Launched in January 2018, Wisdo developed an app that connects people around shared issues such as questions of sexuality, anxiety, and loss and encourages those who have successfully traversed life challenges to become “helpers” or “guides.” The app already has 750,000 downloads and its active user base is at around 70 percent, according to Wisdo CEO Boaz Gaon.
The Tel Aviv-based startup, which has so far raised $11 million, recently won a 2019 Google Play Award in the “Best Social Impact” category.
Promoting meaningful relationships
Unlike most social networks that rely on the number of connections, Wisdo is entirely built around the quality of human interaction.
“Other online platforms celebrate how popular or provocative you are. But on Wisdo, we promote helpfulness,” Gaon tells NoCamels. The startup observes that genuine mutual support among users is key to positive online engagement. “It is our role as a community and as a company to constantly reward you for being helpful. Because the more you feel that you are helpful, the more helpful you will actually become to other people. There is a really strong healing process going on,” he explains.
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