Continuing from where I left off in my previous post…
In this episode, I take you on a short trip into the labyrinth human mind. I also suggest Tech based solutions to look after this indispensable asset.
So, Hop On!
Let me throw a few facts at you straightaway.
- Every year 800,000 people kill themselves all across the globe. Reason – Depression related loneliness. At this rate, one person is gone every 40 seconds.
- To every person killing himself/herself, there are 20 others trying to commit suicide.
No wonder depression and loneliness setting in from this disease is a major global killer and things can get much worse during lockdowns. According to Kira Asatryan, a global authority in the domain of mental health:
“Loneliness is essentially sadness caused by a lack of closeness…this is why it doesn’t work to simply surround yourself with people. You must actually feel close to them.”
But you’ll be happy to know that the Tech world has been fighting this evil with all its might. In this part of my TechArm series, we’ll have a look at all those Tech solutions that can help you weather this crushing tornado.
Ever since the smart people of the Tech world began to take notice of this menacing disease, they began to tinker around with ideas. This spawned a whole plethora of solutions from Chat Rooms to Artificial Intelligence. I will take you through some of the most practical of these solutions.
The one complaint that every person suffering the effects of depression has is “No one ever listens to me!” Yes, that is exactly the situation with these people. This world may have shrunk in the wake of technological miracles and brought the global human population much within each other’s reach, but we still suffer from the want of a conversation companion on those rough days when nothing seems to be going right. This is exactly where TalkLife steps in. This is a peer support solution. By this I mean this is a platform where people looking to discuss their mental health issues get together with expert councilors. The conversations that ensue can act as a balm to fragile minds and help the situation from devolving.
With a cool 4.4 rating on Google Play Store, the TalkLife app seems to be a warm and cozy platform for users. The app environment gives you a Social Network kind of feel, but – from my personal experience with tinkering with this app – does not overwhelm you with a buzzing crowd; as is the case with standard Social Networks. Plus there is always someone eager to listen to you here. This app has the potential to act as a lifesaver during lockdown days when isolation can be as telling as a zoo cage, and it’s FREE!
With a healthy 4.5 rating on Google Play Store, Replika is a neat solution for companionship woes. Depending on whether you access it from the company website or download the app on your mobile phone from your app store, you are either greeted with a dainty AI avatar or required to set up an account. From there on it is a cool journey. Once you have set up your account you are required to customize your companion. This includes among other things setting your AI companion’s sex. You can also decide on the relationship status between you and the AI avatar. But more intimate levels are locked up for a subscription-based service starting from a little over 4 USD per month.
How many times have you felt that your real-life partner or current friend circle doesn’t fully understand or take an interest in your hobbies and interests? Have you moved to a new place and are looking for people with a shared interest to connect to? Look beyond Facebook. This neat networking platform without the usual hum and din of Facebook can really indulge you.
This is an interesting platform. More of a guidance tool, it can give you rare insights into where you are going wrong in terms of managing your mental health. The whole experience starts with creating your account on their website and in case you are wondering I did find their app on Google Play Store with a neat 3.9 rating. Right before your account is created they probe you with some smart questions to gauge your mind. I did find the questions intriguing and pertinent. But to get help you need to be 100% candid with your answers. Once your profile has been created you start getting peer-supported guidance in the form of activity planners and smart games. However, not everything is free.
There! I have listed the top four mental health upkeep platforms, which I have tried and tested myself and from my experience, these are all wonderful Tech Tools. If you scour through the internet you will find many such Tech-based solutions for a confined mind. All these become even more important during lockdown scenarios. We often overlook one vital aspect – the world that we humans as a species inherit after each global meltdown scenario is a different world. And to cope with a new world with unknown dynamics we need strong minds. So if you are not caring for your mind start doing it right now. But here is a stark warning. No AI or Tech Application can ever replace an actual human companion. If you have a partner who wants to listen to you, consider it a priceless gift.