Hello, Koko



Hello, Koko
If your primary social media feeds are failing to provide psychological comfort, here comes a social networking tool to your emotional rescue. When you’re lost in a blaze of confusion, overwhelmed by negative emotions, stuck in a peril of anxiety and disconnected from the people who usually help you cope—there’s a safe place where you can turn for empathy, compassion, and perspective. Koko will not replace your therapist, but it can connect you to a world of good intentions and genuine care. Here you’ll find a place that allows you to emotionally and mentally purge while providing a reception of real people who will attempt to play with a kind heart and ethical rules. 

For the last month, I’ve been checking in a couple of times a week with the Koko app on my phone. The app allows me to practice my reframing skills. On Koko, they call it “Rethinking.” In counseling, I use reframing as a psychological tool to spin maladaptive thinking into a healthy cognitive process, i.e. “The glass is half full.” Koko provides a place that renders compassion for the disenchanted, depressed or confused. People who might be stuck in a quandary can come here for a crowdsourced perspective on their problems through Rethinking or what the therapeutic world calls a reframe. 

Naturally, as a therapist, I feel adept at the Rethinking process. In fact, I’m beginning to see myself as a talented Rethinker for Koko posters because I’ve been receiving thank you notes when my replies to their posts are effective. I receive further rewards in the Koko world with the “Upvote” from the crowd of onlookers and Rethinkers who read my rethought/reframed responses. Should my reply as a Rethinker get Upvoted enough, it becomes prominently featured as the top reply to the original post. Koko alerts me every time someone gives me an Upvote or a thank you note. So when I get an alert on my phone from Koko, I’m pretty sure that I’ve done something good, and that gives my ego a little boost. 

Koko acts like a type of group therapy for the on-line masses.  The process of group therapy operates where people share their personal struggles in a safe place and respond to others empathetically without giving advice. As well, they provide feedback to one another with their own personal perspective through rethinking or reframing. When people feel supported and safe enough to process difficult complex feelings, experiences or ideas, group therapy works to heal. Connecting with others who offer kind regards without critical judgment, we can integrate and process our emotions or thoughts that make us feel bad.

At the same time, this act allows our brains to grow and expand from alternative healthy perspectives that we did not originally see from our own point of view. As well as the benefits one receives from processing difficulties, those lending kindness through rethinking/reframing efforts receive the satisfaction of connecting with their fellow human beings in a positive way. In simple terms, we feel good when we help someone else, and the kindness of gratitude can give our ego a lift. Like I said, those Upvotes feel good and make me feel more confident in how I respond to the world. 

To fully experience Koko, I eventually set forth my own post to the crowd by providing a real question of anguish from a personal struggle that was tugging on my soul. I was curious as to the kind of answers the world of Koko could provide me. Would it be possible for me to receive restructured words that could introduce something meaningful? One difficult aspect of life is that we lack objectivity over ourselves. A primary reason we need each other—is perspective. Social networking can create a checks and balance system for living healthy. In the world outside of social networking, the system works naturally through family and friends who provide us with support and confidence; but sometimes the weight of the burden we carry feels awkward or too heavy to bother those whom we care for the most. 

So, I am glad I posted my own inquiry to the Koko world. The replies to my post came through with such eloquence, deep thought, objective concern, and care. One particular reply filled me with gratitude. The responder’s words truly spoke to me and provided inspirations through the beauty of its poetry. The reframe was perfect. I felt that I gained new light into my dilemma. Words can be so fickle in their arrangement. With a simple twist and shift, they can fall into place to open new meaning. Someone in the Koko world gave me perspective. I’m sure some are curious to see my post and its answers, but I will not share them here. Instead, I recommend for you to see for yourself and explore how the world can process together on Koko.