How many times do you log onto Facebook for a little fun, only to log back out more discouraged than you were before? It happens to us all thanks to posts and nasty comments from people you consider your friends. Do you feel you can go to your Facebook friends with the big problems in your life? Probably not.
The app “Huddle.” is a different kind of social network where people do go when they just need to talk and find some encouragement and support. After I created an account and logged on I found hundreds of people who needed to talk to someone but probably felt they couldn’t go to their friends and family with whatever it is they’re dealing with. One young woman was fighting an urge to self-harm herself. Another was using the app to discuss his sister’s cancer diagnosis. And one teenage girl was fighting back tears as she shared that she had just discovered she was pregnant.
“Did I mention how scared I am?” she said.
“Huddle.” isn’t just an app for people to vent, hundreds of people who listened to the personal confessions offered guidance and encouragement. “Huddle.” is a video chat app. People who are talking record themselves in the app and their video is posted in a feed and in groups with others facing similar circumstances. If someone wants to remain anonymous there is a slider that appears on the screen which will pixelate their video.
I found groups of people who posted their stories in groups for Teen Troubles, LGBTQ issues, bad breakups, Self-harm, Depression, Stress and Anxiety, and Trouble with Parents. Many users log into the app without their own problems but just to listen and provide support.
“Huddle.” doesn’t pretend to provide professional counseling and offers phone numbers for various crisis lines.
“Huddle.” is an iPhone only app at this point but the developer says an Android version is coming soon. If you decide to look for it in Apple’s App Store, look for “Huddle.” It has a purple and pink icon. It is a free app with no ads.