What is even more tragic than Simone Battle s death is the fact that it could have been prevented

Increasingly what we find society and ourselves to be in – a state of denial.

The fact that we have a problem, one we may not have fully understood yet,  is becoming harder and harder to ignore.

Simone Battle is the latest casualty, in what is a worrying prominence depression and suicide appeared to have gained in our consciousness –  if not lives.

Is social at the heart of this? Maybe. But only from the perspective that what it  may have done to our attentive index is decreased it.

We are not noticing what is happening,  and what it is costing us is our ‘awareness’ – of what we are doing to ourselves and the ones around us. 

Increasingly we find ourselves unable to distinguish between an attack and a desperate cry and call for help.

Quick to judge, and put down views that oppose our own, what social may have damaged, even permanently, is our ability to reflect – rather than react.

“Snap out of it” could be the most unthinking, and unfeeling , famous last words we will ever utter to a family member suffering from depression.

But it is their problem, not ours,  a  resident script in danger of being
normalised – and in the process being given the credibility and legitimacy – few believe it really deserves.

What can we do about the problem. We can build apps to sort it. That’s just what we ve done at Insanity. Our Depressive Index app is an incubated idea that we developed in response to Charlotte Dawson’s death. An opt in app, people vulnerable to depression can choose to feed tweets and posts through the app which uses sentiment analysis to assess the nature of their moods – high low, dangerously low! Alerts are sent to family,  friends and caregivers who can then take necessary and truly supportive action.

The most depressive part about this invention is we have no takers for it. It’s not very hard to get off the ground. Algorithms exist  we know they do because of Facebook and the recent emotion index experiment they conducted – which we thought was awesome!

But the depressive index app isn’t where it ends.  It’s where it starts.

A new project we have is an app that appends itself to email, messaging and social systems. We re not even sure if we can get this app going yet but it’s premise is very simple  amd based on the knowledge that what many of us are unable to do is hold back our emotions and instincts. To help us do so, what the app does is delay our actions. The emails or messages we send – aren’t actually.  They are held for a period that can be set from anything to a few hours to a few days.  After this cooling off period the app re-presents us with our message and asks if we d still like to send it . If not,  the decision to send is cancelled. What happens in the process could be the retention of relationships and the prevention of hurt that cause cause unundoable harm.

Insanity is a creative consultancy that was set up in a response to a world we feel is going increasingly mad thanks to the options placed before it. We believe that Creativity is nothing without Empathy and unless you build on this foundation therefore any solutions you develop are unlikely to be hinged or relevant. We welcome you to connect and find out more about us by emailing patrick@insanitysydney.com.au


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