Ripple, a new iPhone app, has a simple mission: to empower you to get the crew together and make new memories with old friends. Andrew and Andre, Ripple’s co-founders and best friends for over a decade, created Ripple when they found themselves drifting apart after Andre moved cross-country for his first job.
“Even though I had Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and every other social media app, they really did nothing to remind me to keep in touch with people I care about but were not in my area,” Andre said. “I also found myself struggling to plan and get my busy group of local friends together, which left me feeling very isolated.”
While we tend to think of ourselves as more connected in this age of social media, there is evidence that social media is disconnecting us, leaving us lonelier than ever before.
Loneliness and social isolation have been on the rise in Western society for decades with approximately 60 million or 1 in 5 Americans suffer from chronic loneliness. Loneliness is also set to become the silent killer of the next decade, with lonely people being 45% more likely to die than non-lonely people. For comparison, obese people were found to be 18% more likely to die than non-obese people, making loneliness 23% more deadly than obesity. With loneliness increasing the chance of heart attacks and even causing more frequent herpes virus outbreaks in infected patients1, it deserves to be taken seriously.
“Instead of “social” being about creating shared experiences, we’ve gotten used to “social” meaning sharing pictures about past experiences or passively viewing them,” Andrew states. “We think social networks should empower people to be social in a playful, human way, rather than encourage artificial behaviors to support a business model.”
Determined to help people overcome what they see as a Loneliness Epidemic, the two friends created Ripple as a tool purely designed to maintain and strengthen your close connections that bring stability and happiness into your life.
Ripple encourages you to stay in touch with your closest friends by using your passive data like location, past behavior, and anonymized calendars to make planning effortless. It also helps keep these people top of mind, so even with a busy schedule and infinite distractions, you will remember to talk to those who matter most in your life. And those friends don’t even need to get the app—you can invite them to your plans, and they’ll get text messages reminders to RSVP and come to the event.
The Ripple team hopes that people will try Ripple and find that it makes them more mindful of their own need for personal connection. Why not try Ripple out and see how it helps you?