Like any great invention, social media platforms have had various effects: We saw them help citizens share messages of freedom and democracy during 2011’s Arab Spring. But we’ve also witnessed teenagers abuse them to bully their peers — sometimes with devastating, fatal consequences.
But two Canadian grads are hoping to usher more positivity through social media with the launch of an app called Posi. With it, users can share positive images and messages with friends and peers; there’s no ability to leave comments, though, which prevents people from leaving snarky comments.
In the short month the app has been available, Posi has been downloaded 3,500 times in 35 countries.
Co-founder Jason Berard came up with the idea for Posi while backpacking. Traveling always left him feeling inspired and enlightened — feelings that were often washed away as soon as he logged into Facebook or other social media platforms. Berard and fellow co-founder Braden Pyper wanted to halt the negativity and instead create, in their words, a “positive sanctuary on our phones” with the app.
“Social media is not about self-promotion and negativity, even though that’s what it’s perceived as,” Berard told the Winnipeg Sun, while referencing the “meanness after meanness after meanness and selfie after selfie after selfie” on existing social media sites. “People are starting to perceive social media as a negative thing, when it’s a really important tool for connection now.”