The world is a big place. It’s huge, in fact, and crammed full of people. It’s so full that housing prices are skyrocketing, our morning commutes are maddening and this lonely little planet is getting fuller by the minute. We are also living in a pandemic, however, it’s not just COVID-19. There is another hidden, more silent pandemic seeping through the world and its name is ‘loneliness’.
According to research, loneliness is worse for you than obesity. Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2010). In England, almost 1 in 2 people report occasionally feeling lonely, and 1 in 20 people aged 16 and over report feeling lonely often/always . In a world so crammed full of people it’s hard to imagine such statistics. Over thousands of years, we have evolved our pinnacle social nature. We are creatures with a deep inbuilt desire to belong, yet that same social nature works against us when we don’t have a social circle and turn into feelings of depression and despair.
One in four Australians are lonely
according to the newly released
Australian Loneliness Report.
[11} While 68 per cent of Australians crave stronger relationships there are not a lot of resources out there to help facilitate it, which is surprising considering our constantly evolving innovation.
A small company with big ambitions is aiming to reduce those figures substantially. While studying psychology, it didn’t make sense to the founder, Paul Catts, that anyone should be lonely when they could simply ease their loneliness, together. “If there are that many lonely people, surely the problem is with our tools for connecting”. It was this mentality that led to the creation of Introjuicer.
Introductions are a commodity that has yet to be fully utilized. Apps can do so much for the world, so why can’t they do better at connecting strangers? With many social media and dating apps collecting people and expecting them to go and create their own bonds, Introjuicer is all about acting as a middle-man, taking the awkwardness and reservations out of meeting new people. It also uses psychological approaches to facilitate and nurture new relationships. Social media app Bumble has ventured into the friend-making space with the BFF feature, however, users have claimed that the new feature still feels in a sense like online dating, complete with all the awkwardness, silence and rejection. What Introjuicer aims is to create reasons for people to interact, keeping the boring and awkward small talk to a minimum.
People’s lives are enriched by their passions and interests. Finding people to share these things is something that truly breaks down barriers and helps to build lasting connections. Jamming two people together with the intention of dating or becoming friends is much less organic than simply pairing the deep interests of two people, helping them to enjoy those interests together and allowing the friendship or romance to blossom naturally. Introjuicer is also trialling a range of original social innovations to help combat online abuse, lagging conversation, or even just losing touch with someone.
Now available on the Apple App Store, Introjuicer is aiming at helping people enrich their lives with the light of others and reduce loneliness around the world.
Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010). Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000316. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316