Social media is the greatest thing ever: it lets you stay in touch with as many people as you like, 24/7, sharing opinions, experiences, and hilarious memes.
But also, social media is the worst thing ever: it’s full of anonymous trolls spreading gloom, discord, and TV spoilers.
In other words, there are upsides and downsides to this brave new world, and it’s not always obvious that the upsides outnumber the downsides.
That’s why we were happy to discover Awesome, a new app that’s all about spreading positivity online – where we spend most of our time.
After inviting you to create a profile, Awesome lets you send challenges to your friends to carry out a variety of tasks that are kind, charitable, and positive.
You can browse these tasks through tags such as Charity, Homelessness, Family, and so on. They include acts like taking your spouse to lunch, thumb wrestling your neighbor, and sending flowers to a hospital patient (note: I would prefer grapes).
Sending and completing these challenges nets you Awesome points, and you can also send animated, personalized coins, adding your own message to make the gesture extra meaningful.
Meanwhile, your actions are reflected on your profile. There’s a circle around your profile picture, and this glows more and more brightly the more you engage with the app. Then, once you start levelling up, it changes color and becomes more animated.
This is all hugely motivating, giving you something tangible to show for your acts of kindness and motivating you to engage even more. It’s a gamified feedback loop of addictive generosity.
And that can’t be bad. At a time when social media is arguably responsible for many of the world’s ills, whether through election interference, cyberbullying, or people just being jerks, it’s great to find a corner of it that’s all about being lovely.