When Solo Apps go Social


“Your eyes will go square!” – one of the many myths my parents preached in my youth. Eating crusts never made my hair go straight. Nor did eating carrots give me night vision (much to my disappointment!) Though they tried to talk us out of it, our eyes and minds are never far from screens. And now, we look to the little screens in our pockets for everything!

Take meditation, for example; the practice originated in Buddhism thousands of years ago. Now, it’s a huge lifestyle trend that’s the root of all peaceful. It’s got countless benefits, including increased productivity, better rest and overall happiness. Sound good so far? It’s no wonder it’s popping up everywhere – meditation music, books, and now, apps!

Meditation, traditionally, would steer us away from mobiles (and other humans). Dozens of popular meditation apps prove that mobile, mindfulness and even social can go hand-in-hand! Here are just a few…

Headspace: This app offers a timer, pretty visuals and some calming sounds. Widely available on iOS and Android, Headspace is a popular choice thanks to its soft colour simplistic, yet colourful, cartoony design and an endorsement from Emma Watson!

Insight Timer: This is where it gets interesting. Insight Timer does everything as before, but adds social into the mix! The home screen tells you how many meditators are using the app right now. You can access talks, podcasts and meditation teachers in 25 languages. You can socialise in discussion groups. On completing of your meditation, it tells you how many other people are meditating, where they are (switch on your location settings!) and what they are listening to.

Shambhala: Bringing social to life. It’ll show you a map to locate Shambhala centres, where you can meet other users. Learn from talks and visit the website for other resources and learn how to start your own Shambhala group – a wonderful concoction of social media, meditation and real-life.

So, meditation is going social… why does this matter? Firstly, these apps have highlighted a social trend within growing lifestyle communities. The apps themselves enable people to meet, network, listen, learn and share – all attributes of successful social platforms.

Finally, it shows that any app or even any trend can sprout a social stalk. The desire for social doesn’t stop growing! Meditation doesn’t have to be a solo journey. It doesn’t have to be silent. Social networking introduces learning, podcasts and video content. Social apps allow users to shape their activities to suit their lifestyle, taking cuttings from other ideas and letting their hobbies bloom.

Social aspects can play a vital part in trends and apps, even where they’re least expected!

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