This app provides an escape for users from cyber-bullying and the pressures of social media.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, around 43 percent of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once. That number keeps growing as the issue of cyber-bullying continues to expand. However, the app We Heart It is changing the way teens and young adults use the Internet and social media, as it's dedicated to only engaging users in a positive way.
Bullying is no longer just in the halls at school or on the playground. Social media has created a place for people to bully others behind the screen of a computer.
12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick reportedly committed suicide due to numerous years of cyber-bullying. Megan Meier, a 13 year-old girl, committed suicide in her home after being cyber-bullied on MySpace. Jessica Logan also took her own life after a few nude photos she had sent became the cause of constant bullying. These are just a few of the devastating stories of the effects of cyber-bullying.
With what started as just a design board inspiration, We Heart It quickly became a growing business. Designer Fabio Giolito never imagined it would become a site or an interactive app. We Heart It is a place where young users can find artistic inspiration, see and share images, and "heart" images they like.
But how does We Heart It provide a positive way for users to interact and deter cyber-bullying? President of We Heart It, Dave Williams, said it’s designed as a positive site, rather than a site that put an emphasis on taking selfies and worrying about looks.
"It’s about what inspires and what interests people. Not narcissism, social bragging or social competition," Williams said. "It’s also not about the number of followers you have like it is for other social media sites. It’s about browsing beautiful images."
The most significant part of the app is that it doesn’t allow commenting. You can only do two things when interacting with another user: heart their images or follow them. So, there’s virtually no opportunity for bullying. We Heart It's user base is 80 percent women from ages 15-24, and provides a place where teens feel safe, Williams noted.
The way the website works is users search and share inspiring images which they organize onto different boards. For example, if a user loves craft projects, they can organize images into a board of beautiful craft projects. To some this site design may sound very familiar to Pinterest. However, Pinterest has an average user age of 41 whereas We Heart It’s average user is 19. We Heart It posts are about feelings, whereas Pinterest is typically about things.
We Heart It serves as a creative experimentation and mood booster. It’s entirely visual and there’s no talking. 25 million people have already registered and another million join every month, growing quickly in the U.S. and Europe. Since pictures are universal and there’s no commenting, everyone can interact and understand each other.
"It gives users the freedom to express themselves. Women can explore images in a safe environment away from social pressure," said Williams. "Users can even be anonymous if they want."
If you’re interested in creating a profile, head to www.WeHeartIt.com and sign up for free. The app is available for download for iPhones and Androids. Sign up today and let your positivity run wild!
Photo Credit: We Heart It