Love Thy Neighbor Through Social Media
by Kim Persky | published Oct. 1st, 2014
Our generation is notorious for hanging out with hundreds of friends without ever leaving our rooms. We check Facebook to see what our exes are up to. We post pictures of every meal on Instagram. We added 'hashtag' to our vernacular, and we have an uncanny ability to record anything we want in 140 characters or less. Whether you love it or hate it, social media is our generation’s modus operandi. The way humans interact and exchange information has been altered forever; why not use it for the greater good of humanity?
That’s exactly what Andy Firoved did when he created Voloe. Voloe is a social media site constructed with the goal of “paying it forward.” First, users generate a list of goals, longings and desires. The idea is to interact with an online community where other users will see your list, help provide you with the tools to succeed and therefore help make your dreams a reality. The 2014 “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest will award users a total of 213 prizes. So far, winners have gone to free concerts, attended sporting events, received electronic gadgets and video game systems and gotten cold hard cash to help support their life-improving efforts.
When creating a profile, the user is prompted to answer three questions to begin their list of goals: where he or she would like to visit in the next year, what he or she wants to learn and what living celebrity he or she wants to meet. Once a goal is accomplished, the user hits the “Goal Achieved” button. The dashboard resembles Twitter, and lets you scroll through other users’ “Shared” goals. These range from “Finish a Corn Maze” to “Own a Vineyard in the French Countryside.” You can sync Voloe to Facebook and Twitter, as well as see strangers' publicly shared goals.
Firoved’s personal philosophy on creating Voloe is to “create a community, where people work together to help each other.”
Compared to other sites, where users create a profile listing superficial information, Voloe’s users provide much more insight into their true selves with a list of their deepest aspirations. Well, I remember the lady at the pool that gave me $20 when I lost my first baby tooth; I remember the barista that paid for my coffee when my card was declined. I hope they create Voloe profiles, so somebody can “pay it forward” to them.