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Human beings are social animals and that means we’re always looking for an opportunity to communicate with like-minded people. It starts with our very first breath when we cry to let our mother know that we want to be fed and continues through our entire life. The problem is once we learn how to talk, we often hold back from expressing our real feelings because we don’t want to be judged by others. Social media is a great way to communicate and, while we might be inclined to share our feelings a little more openly when we don’t have to see someone in person, most of us still have a tendency to hold back. Social media, for the most part, is not anonymous so we’re still worried about potential consequences even when using these online mediums.
Paralign is an app that’s designed to help you overcome your fears by allowing you to communicate your thoughts openly and anonymously. It’s a great way to get anything off your chest with other like-minded people and not have to worry about what they may think of you if you ever meet them in person. This is a free app and it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
When you set out to use this app for the first time they do recommend that you sign in using one of your existing accounts such as your Facebook. You might be thinking that this was anonymous as I did, but the reason you sign-in is so you can keep track of past thoughts and review them – not to share personal information with other users. You can continue as a guest if you like, but you are limiting yourself and your use of the app.
After you have moved past the initial sign-in screen, the app will provide you with a quick guided tour the first time you use it. This introductory walk-through doesn’t just explain things to you, it also shows you samples of the app in action. By the time you get around to actually using the app yourself, you’ll know all about its main features.
Paralign won’t blow you away with fancy graphics, but the images used within the app are both effective and fun. The developer has included simple smiley face icons that you can use to indicate your mood and the intensity of your mood that really gets your point across. They’ve also included simple cartoon characters that each user is assigned within the app to represent their personality. It’s a cute and fun feature that really works well.
It isn’t just the graphics that are designed to lighten the mood with a cute and fun approach – the overall theme of the app is very soothing and relaxing as well. The developer has made good use of color to reflect different moods and they’ve mixed these up to make things interesting. They also use simple animations, such as page flip’s, and animated pencils to help you interact with the app. The overall effect is one that’s quite soothing and appealing.
You begin your interaction with the app by typing in a thought that describes how you’re feeling at that particular time. There are no judgments here so you can write anything you like and it’s really quite a freeing experience. If you’ve been struggling with something and want to get it off your chest this is the perfect avenue to do it. After using it for the first time I was amazed at how easy it was to express my innermost feelings with perfect strangers – it was definitely a lot easier than sharing them on Facebook or Twitter.
After you’ve shared your initial thought, you’ll be asked by the app to choose a mood. There are six moods to choose from: happy, peaceful, sad, mad, nervous, and neutral. You’re also asked to rate the intensity of your mood between one and five, with one being the least intense and five being the most intense. That’s all the information you need to provide and then you can get started interacting with other people – it only takes a couple of seconds to get connected.
Once you’ve provided your thoughts and mood you’ll then be automatically connected with other like-minded people. If the app doesn’t find someone that’s an exact match for how you’re feeling at that particular time, you can simply tap on the chat icon in the top right corner and then tap on browse wandering minds to see the thoughts of others that are online at that particular time.
If you find a statement that seems to be in tune with how you’re feeling, you can simply tap on the chat icon at the bottom of that person’s thought and begin interacting with them. If you prefer you also have the option of simply liking the comment and seeing where things go from there. If you want to see the next thought you can simply swipe right or left to bring up a new thought, much like you do in some of the popular dating apps. If I have one criticism with this process, it’s that there isn’t really a lot of direction to explain exactly how you access each feature – you simply have to find it through trial and error.
One of my favorite features of this app is the Companion feature, which provides you with a guided meditation to help relax and calm you down after a busy day. There are a couple of different options to choose from including Ice Diving and Sunshine Hill. The Ice Diving option is a unique feature that involves placing your head underwater for 30 seconds at a time that is meant to relax you. How well this works is up for debate, but it is an interesting idea.
The other feature within the companion section is a more conventional meditation feature. In Sunshine Hill you’ll be asked to describe your mood and then the app will walk you through a process to control your breathing in order to try and relax you. Keep in mind this is simply a basic meditation tool, so if you’re looking for more advanced meditation techniques you will be disappointed.
If you’re looking for a simple way to communicate with like-minded people, without having to worry about being judged, then Paralign may be just the app you’ve been looking for. It’s a very easy app to use and once you get the hang of things it can be a lot of fun.
Allan is a freelance writer who loves scouring the App Store for exciting, intriguing and unique apps.