Why We Think This Chat App Is The Next Big Thing
Chat: How Do We Prefer to Communicate?
The old assumption was that introverts prefer textual communication, while extroverts prefer in-person or voice communication. This statement takes a version upgrade when the internet happens and a further update when social media booms. More studies are supporting the claim that people of the “internet age” and “social media age” prefer electronic chat over voice and in-person communication. I will be expanding on this topic in the coming days with evidence-based studies.
How we communicate would impact significantly on our help-seeking attitude and approach. The traditional and conventional methods are not going away anytime soon, but they will not be the first option very soon. The trend of chatting with people online and over messaging platforms is taking flight and prominently observed when COVID-19 hijacks our lives. New social norms are forming around digital advancement. The digital future is here.
Teletherapy and Digital Peer Support
Our biological age is less relevant as compared to our digital age when we examine how our daily activities shape our behavioural patterns. People who are riding on the digital waves find themselves having more online friends than physical friends. They may never meet all the online friends, but they form meaningful friendships and connect deeply with virtual friends. Given how much time we are spending online interacting with people, and transacting businesses virtually, we truly integrate virtual connection in the social fabric. With video meetings incorporated into our work-from-home menu, it is easier for us to accept virtual networking. The resistance to teletherapy and teleconsultation for medical purpose disintegrates into fast-forming history.
Let’s Chat on CARA Unmask
Now, since we could chat so freely, why do we need a platform like CARA Unmask? We talk with people all the time, but it is through meaningful chats that our mood levitates. Purposeful chatting is especially helpful with delicate topics like mental health issues. CARA Unmask provides a safe place for people to chat with one another; people are there for a purpose, to help, or to seek help. With a common goal, the environment is conducive to helping one another with empathy and non-judgemental tone.
Bernard, the co-founder of CARA Unmask, shared with me in a private communication about what CARA Unmask aims to achieve in the helping segment. I felt moved by the sincere tone he took and this, I think, is their mission statement. With his permission, I am sharing what he said to me:
I think part of what we’re doing at CARA is not only to raise awareness that mental health is real (yes, like Harry potter’s invisible cloak) but it can be more common than the public think. Writing about mental health can be outwards looking, instead of self-indulgent and can be put in a neutral or even positive light, so that it’s less “scary” to people on the outside. I’m thinking of encouragement, inspiring, calm and positivity for what we’re trying to achieve at CARA and hopefully, that translates to effective emotional support to users and a pathway to recovery.
What is CARA Unmask?
It is an app available in Android OS and Apple iOS where you could chat safely about your feelings and troubles, and to give back by helping others on the platform.
“CARA is an emotional support platform that empowers users to take control and improve their mental wellness by connecting anonymously and securely with mental health help, anytime, anywhere.”
How does CARA Unmask work?
It is easy to use, and the platform is designed with users of all ages in mind by simplifying processes. Simplification doesn’t mean lack of features. Users can freely choose to go straight into chatting with a CARA friend or use other features like the mood journal to record and track moods.
Mood Journal Feature
I wrote an article “With Whom Can I Share My Deepest Secrets” highlighting the benefits of keeping a mood journal, you may like to have a read about it. The mood journal feature on CARA Unmask app has an added advantage; you can take the journal with you and share with your therapist. Mood journal has been one of the most commonly recommended activities by therapists, and studies have shown the helpfulness in keeping a mood journal for assessing habit-forming behavioural patterns.
Within the app, you can connect with registered therapists and arrange for a consultation and further appointments for therapies.
The CARA Community
I am a firm advocate for mental health awareness, and I strongly support nurturing help-seeking attitudes. Often, we seek peer support first when we encounter troubling issues, but we hesitate if we had less desired experiences with sharing our feelings with friends. Friends and family want to help, but they may not always know how to provide helpful support.
Disclaimer from CARA Unmask:
CARA Is Not Equipped To Support Crisis Management. Our Goal Is To Offer Support Via A Listening Ear In Non-Emergency Situations.