Picture a 15-year-old boy. He’s overweight, new to your school, and new to your town. He doesn’t have any friends. The family members he’s closest to don’t live with him anymore. His attendance is poor and he’s not doing well academically. You’ve heard other students call him “fat,” and you know that what they call him when you’re not around is probably much worse.
One day, someone says something to him so horrible that it makes him want to hurt himself. He knows he needs help, but he doesn’t know where to turn. Then something sparks in his mind. He remembers that your school offers a resource—an app that can connect him—anonymously—with teachers, the principal, the guidance counselor, and other kids, some more like him than he knows.
He types an anonymous message: “I feel alone and depressed.”
And he gets the help he needs.
This is the vision of AGLogic, designers of the social network SodaPop
, and Reverend Dan Hertzler
of Cornerstone Ministries in Murrysville, PA. Following the suicide of a teen in the Pittsburgh area, Pastor Dan asked the local app developer to create a resource for teens who suffer in silence.
AGLogic took Pastor Dan’s request a step further. Founder C. Scott Gilbert and his team designed the private social network to be a tool for help when needed—and to be as fun as Facebook.
“We designed SodaPop to be something kids want to use,” Gilbert told me in an interview, “so they don’t think of it as ‘the app you use only when you’re in trouble,’ but so they use it for everything—both sharing and commenting like on any social platform, and reaching out for help when they need it.”
With the app, students can post status updates, comments, and photos to share with other users in their network. They can communicate with their connections in as many networks as they’d like to join or start themselves—free from snoops, trolls, and online predators. And with the app’s Safe Zone feature, members can communicate anonymously with Agents such as school nurses, principals, and guidance counselors. Agents are alerted to manage and respond to student messages according to their school’s bullying prevention policies and procedures.
SodaPop private networks are free, and activating the Safe Zone requires a monthly fee for each Agent.
Check out this video to learn more: