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The social app spreading positive vibes among teenagers

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A compliment; a simple compliment. That’s all you seemingly need to take down bullies — cyber ones and in real life. “He’s always smiling”, “He never misses a beat”, “He jokes a lot but he’s nice», “He always manages to amaze me”, “He would certainly win MasterChef”. The brainchild of two Milanese brothers 10 and 12 years, Tommaso and Filippo wanted to create an online space safe from insults and offenses. From there, the first social network for sharing positive messages, was born., reporte LA STAMPA.

Geared at boys and girls between 10 and 16 years old, the free app, which goes by the name Olly, was programmed by their father to satisfy the desire of his two children. “They invented this game so they could tell their peers beautiful things,” explains Federico Bolondi. “They wrote all the questions and phrases to show mutual appreciation. Then, together, we invented the game that is at the base of the social network and launched it among classmates.” The app is meant to increase self-esteem and discover nuances of oneself ignored or never seen. Experiencing, with lightness, the increasingly rare pleasure of everyday kindness. From “Like” to “I like it, how you are” — this is their answer to the “culture of hatred”; to the hater on duty; to the rabbit that wounds and rages with words behind a screen on a keyboard.

“Often, not always, bullying is generated by boredom and a kind of frustration that teenagers are likely to try while they are looking for their own balance,” adds Bolondi. “The lack of self-esteem can lead to venting their sense of boredom and inadequacy over others, and you get to seek the attention of others by filling the message boards with negative messages. The goal is precisely to reverse this attitude, highlighting and using positive messages as an element of closeness and bonding.”

A quiet revolution that starts at the bottom. A form of self-defense — under supervision of vigilant and aware adults — to explore new dynamics and new interactions. A drop in the ocean of the net, where every day over 175,000 children access it for the first time, a child every half second; with more than 2 out of 5 young people online at least five hours a day. And where the defenses against bullies, fake news, pornography and various risks stem first from the culture. Acquiring awareness. Not so much to master the medium — in that our children are often ahead of us parents — but to be able to recognize and discern languages and contents. A path that requires preparation and skills, funds and strategies, daily life and knowledge. But of which all urgency is felt, an urgency that cannot be postponed. “You know dad,” Tommaso told his father the other night, “It’s nice to go to sleep after someone tells on Olly that I’m good at math.” A simple phrase. A drop in the ocean that moves waves. And those who surf know how much a wave can make the difference.


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Location: Italy
Location: Italy
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