#TextForHumanity is the world’s first texting switchboard, inviting us all to send a positive message to a stranger – and receive one in return…
From Blue Monday (reportedly the most depressing day of the year) happening earlier this week to a recent report revealing that more than half of adults consider themselves lonely – the need for positivity and goodwill is seriously needed more than ever.
So we definitely approve of the creation of the world’s first texting switchboard, #TextforHumanity. The service, provided by Swedish cloud communications provider Sinch and Mental Health America (a nonprofit organisation dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness), enables strangers from around the globe to send and receive up to five daily messages of positivity. So far, so positive.
It has been developed in response to recent studies showing that although we’re more connected than ever thanks to social media and smart devices, poor mental health and social isolation prevail, affecting people of all ages. With this in mind, a study by the Royal Horticultural Society found that one in five adults believe social media has taken over communication.
‘Although we’re using our phones to communicate 24/7, many often feel worse mentally, not happier,’ says Jonathan Bean, Sinch’s Chief Marketing Officer. ‘People are rightly asking tough questions of the digital and social tech that’s become so ingrained in our lives so quickly. It prompted us to think – what if we could harness mobile communication as a pushback against online negativity, instead of a trigger?’
The service will initially run only in English, and users can send and receive up to five positive texts from strangers around the world within 24 hours. You can opt out at any time by simply replying STOP to the service.
And so, from Hungary to Singapore and Sweden, here’s how to get involved:
1) Visit textforhumanity.com
2) Locate your local number – the UK’s is (+44) 7480 357 002 .
3) Text JOIN to the number.
4) The service will ask for a couple of simple details. All data is stored securely, and no personal or identifying details will be known or shared.
5) Write a short text that will make someone smile. It needs to be within 160 characters, and there’s tips to help get started on TextForHumanity.com.
6) #TextForHumanity will share your message with a stranger somewhere in the world, and in return you will receive a positive message from a stranger.
We all love our phones, but it’s time for our phones to love us back. If each of us can help brighten someone’s day, and lift up their overall mental wellbeing, we’re very here for it.