A social platform to fight depression
Though in social networks almost nothing is what it appears to be, the truth is that images of idyllic vacations, fun parties or the most romantic scenes –just to name a few—usually shared by users on their profiles can have a negative impact on the frame of mind of their virtual friends. This is what studies have shown. The most recent of these, carried out by the University of Houston to study Facebook’s impact on the mental health of users, concludes that although the social network does not cause depression, the inevitable comparison produced at time, along with investing a great amount of time on the platform, could be linked to some depressive symptom. An idea that MIT student Robert Morris decided to turn around by creating a platform precisely designed to produce a totally opposite effect than that produced by Facebook on its users.
Launched under the name Panoply and based on what is known as cognitive behavioral therapy, this crowdsourcing, created by Morris as a central part of his doctoral thesis, is presented as a space in which users share negative thoughts or situations with the intention of helping each other to see negative thoughts more objectively.
Morris is currently in the process of developing the second stage, a mobile app that has been baptized as Koko and that will be available next fall. Panoply’s evolvement is not only intended for those suffering from depression but is also open to those who want to help.