There’s now a social network that can help you help others, or help others help you. There is no bartering or payment; it’s just a community of people helping others, no strings attached.
I Am Possible Ltd. has created an app that uses your location to find people near you who need some help. It loads people’s “wishes” for you to see, only displaying wishes made by people near your location. A wish can be for something simple like wishing for someone to proofread an essay or asking if someone will please watch your dog for a few days. Once you see a wish that you can grant, you can contact the person through the app and offer your help.
“Impossible” creator, model Lily Cole, spoke at a LeWeb conference and said that the idea of the app is to, “create a space where the values are placed on relationships, experiences, people, and doing the things you love.” She describes the app as a part of the gifting culture, a culture in which the only currency is gratitude. The result was, as Lily says on Impossible.com, “A social network that’s trying to encourage people to do things for other people for free.”
The Beta version of the app was first made available to Cole’s alma mater, Cambridge University. The students helped provide feedback to improve the app. One of the changes they suggested was the way in which people offer help or respond to a wish. Now when someone wants to offer help, they “commit” to the other person. Doing something for others is something we know has the potential to make us feel good. Cole detailed the idea in a talk at the Science Museum in London last September. “Anthropologists call it the positive psychological debt attitude,” she said, explaining that the person that gives feels happier because of the release of chemicals in their brain.
The free app can be downloaded through iTunes, and Cole has great expectations for it. She said she hopes it will someday generate a large profit that can be put back into the community to do good for others. She told PositiveNews.org that positive social consequences and social cohesion are at the heart of Impossible’s mission. She said at LeWeb, “If all else fails, it’s been a wonderful experience for me, seeing the best sides of human nature.” She added, “I feel so much richer than I did two years ago.”