The world is more "connected" than it's ever been – and yet at the same time we are somehow less connected than ever. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. This has created many benefits, but for a lot of people it has also made life more challenging. This has contributed to a greater sense of division than I have felt in my lifetime." (USA Today, January 3, 2017).
While technological innovation has been beneficial, it has driven many communities a part. People would rather meet in digital communities and echo chambers and not engage with their neighbor. We have forgotten about one of our most basic social contracts: to love and take care of our neighbors.
In fact just this year, Facebook's CEO, and founder of the world's largest social network (with over 2 billion monthly active users) changed Facebook's mission from "making the world more open and connected" to "giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." The change came after Zuckerberg's "50 states tour" where he noted that decline in community membership was visible, ".
Dopamine, Addiction, and disconnection
Community withdrawal is everywhere in our society – and can be seen in soaring rates of addiction and depression especially among younger generations who have grown up with technology in their hands.
The most used mobile applications play a large role in this phenomena. Each time we receive a notification we flood our brains with dopamine – the same chemical released when using drugs and alcohol, that desensitizes brain neurons leading us to want more and more, the process of addiction. Isolation and loneliness has been a result of the increased dopamine levels in our society; the same result one would expect from a drug addict.
Mobile application developers know that their applications educe increased dopamine hits and depend on users becoming addicted for revenue. The more users, the more time on app, the more revenue. According to statista the average person spends 14 hours per month in the Facebook - that’s just one app. The challenge is that we are spending time with our mobile devices alone and need to rebuild authentic relationships.
The solution: Treat the addict with true meaningful community
For years Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous has treated addicts with a 12 step program. AA/NA knows that if you complete eleven steps but not the twelfth step they most likely will relapse. Why is this? Because when we serve and connect with each other we educe another set of chemical: Oxytocin.
Oxytocin plays a role in behaviors from maternal-infant bonding to empathy and generosity. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels increase; hence, oxytocin is often called "the love hormone." Greater amounts of oxytocin hormone levels appear to be associated with greater relaxation, more willingness to trust others, and general psychological stability (according to Psychology today). It appears to help us reduce our stress response and reduce general anxiety in people. Oxytocin is produced when we connect with others in meaningful relationships or in acts of generosity. It's the science behind the concept that it's better to give than to receive. Oxytocin balances Dopamine in our system. We need to connect with one another in order to treat our addiction and bring our communities together.
ARISE will utilize the same technology principles that enable us to connect with so many but to do so in purpose driven meaningful relationships within their community under the simple principle to Love your Neighbor as yourself. We are changing the way people view the social safety net by seamlessly connecting people in need with people who can help through our mobile technology. We seek to make communities more responsive to social emergencies, natural disasters, and everyday needs that we all face through crowd-service technology.
Users can request help, offer to help each other, and read about success within their community. Calls for help can be as simple as raking the leaves, moving a sofa, or donating clothes.
Positioning for Global Impact through Crowd-Service
People have been serving their neighbors since they've lived with each other. Service is not a new invention however we haven't been doing a great job adopting in the information age.
ARISE enables individual users, non-profits, community groups, churches, and businesses to take part in crowd-service. Crowd-Service is when neighbors unite to help each other organically in times of crisis, social emergencies, drug epidemics, natural disasters, or in practical every-day needs. Just like crowd-funding, small amounts of service will add up to large efforts by communities. When a social emergency hits neighbors and non-profits can respond much faster than a government due to budgeting and voting structures.
ARISE seeks to build a cross roads between those in need, non-profit organizations, churches, and business to help with causes within their geographic area. From poverty, natural disaster recovery, or social issues, ARISE seeks to unite people under one banner: "Love your neighbor." The more we serve one another the more we will communities come together for the common good and we will see a decrease is violent crime, abuse, and oppression.