It's not about technology...
When you hear the word “joy” what do you think of first? Chances are it’s something human-related: a smiling baby, a gorgeous sunset, or seeing an old friend for the first time in years.
Have you ever had an experience of joy while using technology? Perhaps not. In fact, when we think about our smartphones and computers, most of us imagine feel the opposite of joy - something like utter frustration or soul-sucking tedium.
Well, recently I experienced a moment of joy while using a new app. First, a little back story…
Earlier this year, I attended a conference in San Francisco called Wisdom 2.0. It was about living mindfully in the digital age. I loved it! During one session, I sat next to a woman named Amy from New York. She had recently developed this app called Daily Haloha, based on a profound experience she had while walking through a New York City subway terminal a few days after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
As she hurried toward her train, she was stopped in her tracks by a giant wall of brightly-colored sticky notes. Each note contained a message of sincere emotional expression - some fearful, some hopeful, but each one an honest point-in-time glimpse into the soul of one anonymous fellow subway rider.
The phenomenon was widely covered in the news (here’s one such article) and made a big impact on many people, including Amy.
What Amy realized that day was that people were desperate to express themselves, to feel connected to a larger community, and to experience true empathy and unity in a seemingly hopeless and divided world.
Out of this experience, Daily Haloha was born.
To be supportive, I went ahead and downloaded it the very first day. I was so moved by the experience, I decided to record a video in order to share my joy with others.
What I love about this app is it's not addictive, because it’s function is very limited and all content is anonymous. Like that “Subway Therapy” wall, it’s just a little moment of insight and empathy for others who share your world.
For me, this is a fantastic example of how technology can actually bring us joy - real human joy. The reason I am so passionate about teaching people to use tech tools is because I want to make sure that everyone, at any age, has access to amazing tech tools that make the world a better place, like Daily Haloha.
So, it's not about technology. It’s about how we can use it to feel more empowered, connected, and engaged in our humanity because of, not in spite of, living in the digital age.
How can you use technology to experience more joy in your life? What kind of tools will help you connect more often and more deeply with the people you love? How can you use what you learn online to create a more beautiful world offline?
Hopefully what you find at everHuman contributes to your sense of joy in the digital age!