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Don't let social distancing turn into outright isolation.
These apps let strangers lend a friendly ear, and they're free. The premise is intriguing. We all need to talk sometimes, but you might not always be comfortable opening up to a friend or loved one about certain topics. And professional therapy might not be an option right now.
So why not chat with a stranger, who can lend a sympathetic ear and help you talk things through? This is no substitute for emergency help, of course. But if you're looking for something more casual, there are more options than you might think. HearMe is an app for iOS and Android that lets you talk one-on-one with a stranger. You're not really talking -- this is a texting experience, which might actually make it a bit easier to open up to a stranger. At least that was my experience. I tried out HearMe this week and decided to use it to talk through a personal issue that has been weighing on me.
Getting started with the app, which you can install on your iPhone or Android deviceis easy, and you don't need to provide any personal information, so there's very little for the developers to mine, if your privacy is important to you.
You can specify your listener preferences for gender including nonbinary and age range and can say up front what your topic is or simply start chatting. Once in a chat, the app behaves like any texting app, with the exception that you're thrust into a potentially weird situation in which you're there to chat with a stranger for no reason other than to chat. It's not a dating app; it's not an online forum; it's not someone you know. It's just someone who's volunteering their time to talk to you, and you'll never interact with them again.
After your session is over, your chats are saved in a "journal," which you can refer back to and reread at any time. Another option: An app called Lyf has a similar philosophy, but rather than one-to-one interactions, Lyf is an online community -- a virtual support group. The app is free and lets you create your own discussion groups, called Beats, and you can control the membership and privacy settings. You can also browse other Beats and in, sharing thoughts and commiserating as appropriate. A lot of Beats on the app right now are related to COVIDbut there are a of other important conversations in the app, including dealing with autism, depression, illness and body dysmorphia.
Like Lyf, Wisdo is built around the idea of communities. You can browse the community and if you chose toyou can weigh in on where you are emotionally on key touchstones related to the issue, answering questions with a simple "Been There" or "There Now. But Wisdo has more, including one-on-one private sessions with a Wisdo coach, and moderated discussions with Wisdo mentors.
But Wisdo thinks that things are particularly tough right now for students -- the class of COVID, so to speak -- so if you're a college student in the US or a university student in the UK and up using a. In this age of self-quarantine and pervasive illness, having resources like HearMe, Lyf and Wisdo may be a godsend for some.
So is meditation -- right now you can get a year of free meditation sessions from Balance. Honestly, I think these apps are like a little ray of sunshine in a day that otherwise can sometimes feel pretty dreary. CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more.
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Discussion thre can be closed at any time at our discretion. Settings My Profile Out. Search Go. Need to talk? Chat confidentially with these apps for free Don't let social distancing turn into outright isolation. Dave Johnson. April 29, p. HearMe The premise is intriguing.
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