Let's face it: Our social media selves aren't always our real selves. We want to come across as happy (all the time), very busy with cool and important things, and somehow successful at everything we do. That's not how we really are, but we know no one's going to "like" a picture of us having a bad day.
Unfortunately, none of this is particularly good for our mental health. But that's what is making a new app called Huddle so popular: It's specifically designed to be a safe space for users to be vulnerable and find support. Users can upload videos of themselves talking about their feelings, experiences, or suggestions for coping, as well as comment on and reply to other videos to offer support.
Founders Tyler Faux and Dan Blackman launched the app in August. "We started Huddle because although peer support is a tremendously effective method of therapy, it remains inaccessible to people around the world who need it most," Faux said. "Our mission is to bring effective forms of therapy to everyone in the world. We're starting with video support communities that celebrate vulnerability and honesty, in contrast with other forms of social media that encourage grandstanding and showing only the highlights of your life."
An app like this is so important because it destigmatizes mental illness. Seeing real people uploading videos and supporting each other is proof we're all struggling to some degree, and having a safe space to talk about it can be really helpful.
And the safe space part is key—community moderators actively patrol the site, removing anything that's been flagged as hurtful or harassment. Beyond initial sign-up information, users aren't required to share any personal details. And for added anonymity, Huddle allows people to pixelate videos to shield their identity.
Huddle feels like a really fresh approach to social media, and honestly, it's about time. It takes the best parts of existing apps—the opportunity for connections, the scale, the convenience—and puts it to good use. We needed a place where we could find support on bad days, and Huddle is it.