News headlines are justifiably concerned with the risks that anonymity can present, from very real physical danger to the snarkiness and bullying that some apps devolve into as people use avatars to cloak their worst behavior. At its best, though, anonymity and crowdsourcing can allow people to share problems they might not otherwise feel open to discussing, especially when it comes to personal relationships, and realize they are not alone. With such rapid changes in both how we communicate, we all have more questions that ever. Crowdsourcing can be especially useful in situations where friends might tell you what they think you want to hear rather than offer objective advice.
When we launched Jyst, we were well aware of the dangers of both anonymity and crowdsourcing and put safety measures in place. As the community grows every day though, what has been most gratifying to see is the empathy and supportive nature of the conversations bubbling up. Is this because Jyst is a safe zone created by women for women to share relationship dilemmas? Are women, given the right environment, inherently more supportive of each other? It’s hard to tell, in part because there are still so few apps that grew out of uniquely female behavior. Admittedly, there are generalizations inherent to this argument, but if Jyst is an example, the answer appears to be yes. There has been an overwhelming display of empathy and kindness, a lack of judginess and absence of put-downs, proving that anonymity does not have to lead to animus; that personal questions do not have to lead to put-downs.
The Jyst: The power of technology to unite and empower, to prove that no matter how far apart, we do not have to feel alone, is the best of both anonymity and crowdsourcing. We look forward to seeing more of it.