Santa Catarina, Brasil

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Social Networks at Its Best: Daily Haloha

Atualizado: Jan 25

This elegant app makes me smile and still believe there are good people out there. Fair enough for it to feature in our "Calm Tech Recommends" session.


In theory, social networks are tools for connecting ourselves to our peers and for sharing thoughts and experiences. In spite of that, many platforms became venues for hatred and superficial discussions regarding any subject from political agendas to gender, racial and unthinkable manifestos of radicalism.


Daily Haloha (available on App Store and Google Play) addresses this issue by guiding the discussion in an objective and positive way. Every day, users get a phrase - called Haloha - to complete. Haloha, by the way, is a greeting that means "the breath of life." After completing your Haloha, the app asks you to choose an emoticon and a color that matches your mood at the moment and then sends your Haloha anonymously to another user worldwide. In exchange, you also get a Haloha from another anonymous user. The only personal information available from each user is the city and country they informed the app.


Both users can select emoticons representing reactions to send to the author of the Haloha you just received. The team has carefully tailored the list of possible responses. After the interaction ends, all Halohas take part on a daily board, that can be accessed anytime by users.


The lack of need to identify yourself naturally encourages a more honest approach when writing your Haloha. I also found the Halohas to be productive, positive, and intriguing. Some left me thinking, and some made me smile. It was good to see the diversity of thinking online, and the first feeling that I saw boosted in myself was empathy.


Merit Creation


Like Jewel Kilcher's song, "What's Simple is True," Daily Haloha has, at the same time, an easy and straightforward interface and an environment that highlights the most authentic part of us. It seems to have the power to connect us to our fellow human beings, no matter their religion, race, political party, and gender, invoking the powers of empathy and wellbeing.


Empowerment


We know that good tech needs to empower its users. They offer a proper environment for decision making, and Daily Haloha is no different. Users get to decide what to write on each Haloha, and also they're free to choose one reaction from the list - including a very needed feedback you can select from the list that says, "I think differently."



One of the nice features on the app is having the chance to suggest your own Haloha for the app to use.


Evaluation


Amber Case's Calm Technology Checklist inspires these evaluation guidelines. I've divided them into four parts: viability, use of attention, privacy & security, and overall conclusion. A more in-depth discussion on this can be found here.


Viability (Real Life Testing Conditions)


Daily Haloha performed well doing the daily usage tests made, running smoothly and seamlessly. I didn't focus on running any offline tests as there are no mission-critical tasks related to this app.


Use of Attention


I received notifications only when a new daily Haloha was available to be completed and about people's reactions to my Halohas (I left the default notification settings unchanged). It didn't feel overwhelming, but users can tune notifications by accessing the "Notifications" section on "Settings" on the app.


Privacy and Security


How is sensitive data stored and handled by the app? Do a plain English Terms of Service policy exist?


Both "Terms of Use" and "Privacy Policy" are available in clear English on their website.


Can users sign up in an anonymous mode that doesn't attach their profile to a username?


Yes, users can sign up as "Guest" and have access to the basic features of the app. But they need to log in if they want to save Halohas and to perform other personalized settings.


Overall Conclusion


Daily Haloha is a pleasant surprise and a hope of better days in the world of social networks. I felt genuinely connected to the people I interacted with using the app, and my wellbeing and empathy levels were positively affected.


This app is a unique social network experience that I would recommend everyone should give a try and reward yourself with the bright side of tech.


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