Patt Morrison For April 20, 2012

Digital ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’? New mobile app offers calmness amid chaos

Customers test new IPad, on April 4, 201

JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Customers test new IPad, on April 4, 2012 at the newly Apple store inside the Confluence shopping centre in Lyon, on the day of its inauguration.

A mobile application akin to “Chicken Soup for the Soul”? Why not? A new free cell phone app called “GPS for the Soul” being developed by the Huffington Post in partnership with several companies, including mobile developer bLife, is being touted as a way to align mind, body and spirit.

The app, expected to be available for download first for just iPhones on June 1, is slated to work by tapping your cell phone’s sensor, showing measures of current stress levels, including heart rate. From there, the app would counter stress by tailoring personal needs for balance, from showing soothing images to displaying breathing exercises to help users navigate the rough waters of daily life. The concept raises questions about maintaining serenity within our increasingly chaotic, technology laden world.

WEIGH IN:

Does using a mobile app to combat tech-induced imbalance defeat the point of actual real-life balance? Or are apps such as “GPS for the Soul” just another way, within a modern world, to deal with the complexities of life? An in-person therapist this is not!

Guests:

Russell Bishop, educational psychologist; editorial director for Huffington Post’s mobile app “GPS for the Soul”

Karen North, clinical psychologist, director, University of Southern California's Annenberg Program on Online Communities


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