Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Show HN: Solo – App for sharing loneliness and aloneness (sharesolo.com)
215 points by wtsui 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 84 comments



As an INFP persona who has worked remotely and solo for many years, I'd like to break the stigma that "alone = bad". I find it incredibly energising a lot of the time, but then there are the odd times when I crave a little human social engagement.

Traditional social media channels have devolved into a cesspit of noisy pollution, but I tend to occasionally post right here on HN, guitar forums, or even on obscure Reddit threads just to hear the rare "Thanks", or "Wow, that was something useful".

I guess while I don't find loneliness a depressing thing, I just want to feel as if I am heard or making a difference to the world every now and then.


Tangentially, since you mention INFP.

It seems to me that the Myers-Briggs test is becoming mainstream. I see people mention these personality codes more and more.

But the test seems to have no scientific validity: http://www.indiana.edu/~jobtalk/Articles/develop/mbti.pdf


I don't think it's becoming more prevalent in the last 10 years, at least no more than mentioning your birth sign... But anyway (take with a grain of salt) the last time I looked at M-B it seemed that although there's no reason to take it very seriously scientifically, nevertheless it correlates surprisingly well with one of the psychology crown jewels, the Big 5, and misses out only on testing for neuroticism.


My personal problems with M-B are

1) I have trouble understanding the significance all of the axes except for introversion/extroversion. For example, what is the concrete difference between INFP and INFJ?

2) The results of MBTI tests seem to vary wildly (at least for me), both between different tests at the same time, or within the same test when I take it at different times. I don't know if I have any consistent MBTI value other than that I lean towards introversion most of the time.

But if someone can link me to a good explanation of the different axes and/or recommend an MBTI test that isn't bullshit, I'd be grateful.


Found some references again.. INFP and INFJ would mostly differ in Conscientiousness (the J being more so). Extraversion-Introversion correlates with Big 5 Extraversion (on the E pole), Thinking-Feeling with Agreeableness (F pole), Sensing-iNtuition with Openness to Experience (N pole), Judging-Perceiving with Conscientiousness (J pole). (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.555...)

If you're on a boundary you might get more insight from breaking the Big 5 into the 10 aspects (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17983306), e.g. Conscientiousness can be split into Orderliness and Industriousness. You also might benefit from having someone close you think models you well (if available, this is the loneliness thread...) answer the test questions for you to see what they get, or perhaps as effective you answer for yourself and also for someone else you think you have a good model of to help highlight differences in degree.

Lastly since MBTI tests are still sketchy, go for a Big 5 test, read about the Big 5 (my first link has some useful descriptors), and forget about MB. For free, http://www.personal.psu.edu/%7Ej5j/IPIP/ exists and is the longest one I've seen. I've read that https://work.coach/assessment is useful. The only paid one I've heard about recently is the rather steep https://www.understandmyself.com/personality-assessment but I suspect like IQ tests paid might give the most utility... (I'm not part of the JBP fanclub but do listen in on him sometimes, so again grain of salt...)


1) http://personalityjunkie.com note that the axis form a 2x4 grid, rather than being 4 independent axis. He info and info are actually very different due to sharing now cognitive functions. INTJ is the closest type to INFJ (as they share a dominant function). Think of the 4-letter codes as a weird encoding of the actual type.

2) The tests are all junk. The only accurate methid we have at the moment is teaching people the theory, and then helping them to self-assess


I think this is because no-one has articulated the hypothesis correctly yet. That and the official assessment is wildly innacurate. Interestingly, it seems that many people are independently discovering parts of the Jungian Type Theory. For example, Daniel Kahneman's Fast and Slow thinking (also system 1/system 2 thinking) seem to almost exactly match the P/J dichotomy from MB.

I'm writing a book on this...


Forget about what the letters mean. Just think of the test as a clustering of personalities. That's how people are finding the test useful.


I think there's a difference betweek being alone and being lonely. The latter implies that you're wanting for company, the former less so.


A quote from Michael Mann's Heat:

"I'm alone, I am not lonely."


I agree, being alone is not bad at all. Feeling lonely is the problem.

That being sad, I really like the app. Good work :)


I like how it's all in the browser. I'm sick everything requiring an app download. Still, you should be able to just use it from the Desktop. Why force people?

Also, why do you need access to my microphone? I really want to post something. I am alone this holiday. But I don't want to give you access to my microphone. Why do you need it? It just looks like text and photos. If I deny access, I can't do anything.


Use an user agent switcher the get around the mobile-only restriction.


You can also just open dev tools and turn on mobile mode.


This site has an exposed Git directory, so you can clone the whole thing. Funnily enough, it appears to be actually talking to a MySQL database. http://sharesolo.com/get_notes.php

Also, all of the credentials are there. I won't post them, but lordy, please close this before your database is wiped.


Careless error. Removed, thank you.


Bravo for pointing that out! Care to explain how you discovered this? Making such security mistakes is what my nightmares are made of


Probably tried to access http://sharesolo.com/.git/ for the repo and looked at the network traffic to see the get_notes.php.


good on you for pointing out the security hole. i'm still a newb when it comes to it.


What people do alone is very interesting and this site does a really good job at capturing that. HN is a place of very constructive and brutal criticism, so you will probably be disciplined on what it should do or what's wrong with it. But in my eyes this is a really interesting piece of art and social media that people like me really appreciate. Keep up the excellent work!


HN has always supported and cared about loneliness for all the time I've being here. I expect nothing but encouragement and helpful advice in this thread.


But at the same time we're engineers with pessimistic minds focussed on failure and monetization so I sadly expect different.


I didn't have a chance to use this on my phone, but from the landing page, this looks no different than Whisper. Knowing that, I probably won't look into this app any further. Is it worth looking into? Did the landing page miss some key features?


Thank you! That's what Solo is all about.


Please enable https. Its free at letsencrypt


Going viral with this particular market might be tough :-)

Jokes aside loneliness is a big deal and I enjoy reading about it but as some other comments mention there is a confusing conflation of ‘being alone’ and loneliness here. Some posts are describing doing something alone (in a positive way) and others are talking about loneliness (negative). Are you actually targeting both?


"Solo connects us in these moments when we are most authentic to ourselves"

If we were authentic to ourselves we wouldn't need to share experiences. We wouldn't need an audience to authenticate them if we valued ourselves as worthy witnesses.


> If we were authentic to ourselves we wouldn't need to share experiences

And sometimes, the experience is already shared with other people!


Very true. When friends fetch their smartphones to 'capture' the moment I suddenly feel lonely, getting the feeling that we no longer value our own memory, that only what can be digitally shared and verified is real. So we end up talking to the digital middleman whilst failing to remember the 'shared' moment.


My pessimistic prediction is that this will either die or be overrun with the alt-right. They seem to gravitate towards the more anonymous social networks (4chan, yik yak). Also see "unpopular opinion puffin" memes on reddit -- a (now dead) meme format designed for people to share what they're afraid to say out loud to their peers, and quickly became a hub for alt-righty opinions on social issues.


Anonymity also permitted the American Revolution, among other things.

Meanwhile the most prominent example that comes to mind for attempts to end even the pretense of anonymity online is authoritarian China.

And fwiw, most of the other boards on 4chan at least tend to push the more obnoxious sorts of commentary back to /pol/, its 'containment board'.

Twitter likewise tends to isolate communities of extremists, on both sides, simply by virtue of explicit blocking or mere lack of sufficient interest to follow on the part of more balanced participants.


> Anonymity also permitted the American Revolution, among other things.

Not sure what that has to do with anything.

> Meanwhile the most prominent example that comes to mind for attempts to end even the pretense of anonymity online is authoritarian China.

South Korea forces people to use their social insurance number to sign up to forums and commenting on social media. Again, not sure why you are using China, they aren't the only ones trying to deanonymize online.

> And fwiw, most of the other boards on 4chan at least tend to push the more obnoxious sorts of commentary back to /pol/, its 'containment board'.

What the parent is referring to is that online anonymous platforms attracts toxic trolls that overtake a platform, even with the moderation you mentioned. When people hide behind a faceless mask, it brings out the worst in people, simply because of the dopamine release from inflicting pain on others to feel good about their otherwise miserable life.

> Twitter likewise tends to isolate communities of extremists, on both sides, simply by virtue of explicit blocking or mere lack of sufficient interest to follow on the part of more balanced participants.

Twitter hasn't done a great job, it's overrun by bots with political agendas, people are mob attacked and it's a poor case to support your assertion that anonymous somehow works even against the mounting evidence against it.


not sure anyone's attacking the right to anonymity, but it would be somewhat dishonest to ignore what has come recently from the most anon communities on the internet.


The American Revolution was a mistake.

>And fwiw, most of the other boards on 4chan at least tend to push the more obnoxious sorts of commentary back to /pol/, its 'containment board'.

Which other boards? I don't know about most boards, but /g/ (and to a somewhat lesser extent /mu/) has tons of racism and sexism compared to most sites.


Yes, the unfortunate fate of so many anonymous apps in the past years.

Moderation may be an ongoing challenge but without commenting or messaging, Solo should be a bit more resilient.


One attack vector here might be trolls creating large number of accounts or manipulating the algorithm to share suicidal messages....I've seen far worse, the internet in all purposes does a lot of good but it's also emboldened incels


Why couldn't you imagine the developers here just implement a flagging/reporting system to just clean up the potential bad content?


If this is a web app, why can't is use it from my desktop browser?


Built mobile first so people could share experiences on the go, but desktop version is planned.


Why does the desktop experience have to be different? It's the web. If you're building for a browser, you failed.


Maybe I build my apps in an amateur way, but I've never had this problem, except that it might look comically large.


Same Korean app "MOCI" been around since 2014.


If you are in Chrome, use developer tools and device toolbar. Enjoy.


Reminds me of this famous forum thread, composed of people who Googled "I am lonely" and found themselves routed to a movie codec site via impressive SEO.

https://www.salon.com/2014/11/19/i_am_lonely_will_anyone_spe...


Is there no archive of that thread? archive.org got nothing, archive.is got only the first page..

The forum went down in 2016, where are the archives?


Not sure if this is terribly awesome or immensely sad


Thanks for the feedback.

I created this project because ​​I know many people who struggled with loneliness at times in their lives.

My hope is that by sharing this experience we’ll feel a sense of connection when we’re alone, and find more acceptance of ourselves and our aloneness, however happy, peaceful, or sad.


I think this is pretty cool and thanks for making it. I bus commute 2.5 hours per work day and my job is 98% alone time, so it will be cool to see what other people in this boat do with that time.

Maybe it's all the HN posts about loneliness like another person noted, but does anyone else have a job like this? I'm really curious to hear about any long-term experiences with significant alone time. Seems like 100% remote folks might deal with this level of aloneness too. I'm realizing after a year that all the alone time really weighs on my psyche if I don't organize it somehow, so I've got five journals that I carry every day just to organize my thoughts. Curious what systems and strategies others have for structuring alone time.


This makes me think of grouphug.us (now gone) which was a pretty neat concept and was reborn/reinvented a couple of different times before the author finally took it down.

Overall, grouphug was a really cool site with a lot of neat statements.

I feel like the way sharesolo is designed helps in promoting a variety of different posts, with the photos/instagram feel behind it. Promoting it during the holidays will also have an interesting dynamic. I think it will be interesting to watch and see what people post.

Although there are some implementation aspects I don't like, I really do like the concept and the layout.

sidenote: For some reason it asks Firefox mobile for microphone access, but I was able to post something by using the web panels in Vivaldi desktop.


Maybe, although generally when you fill a room with sick people, they don’t make each other well. Group therapy can work, but it takes the guidance of people not currently looking up from a hole.


> Maybe, although generally when you fill a room with sick people, they don’t make each other well. Group therapy can work, but it takes the guidance of people not currently looking up from a hole.

Being alone is not a sickness. The site, when viewed on mobile even without an app, shows the first entry as someone who climbed a mountain when alone. Another learned about the three poisons, and yet a third chose to read a series of books.


[flagged]


> “App for sharing lonliness and aloneness...”

The words "loneliness and aloneness" don't mean what you think. Read the comment to which you replied and which was written by the author of the app, "and find more acceptance of ourselves and our aloneness, however happy, peaceful, or sad."

> Lose the semantic crap.

There are better ways to relate to people.


[flagged]


> My experience with nitpicking and semantic parsing on this site says otherwise, and you’re certainly another brick in that wall.

There was no nitpicking or cherry picking. The entirety of your comment related to how being alone is a sickness. I pointed out that being alone is not a sickness. I supported this with three healthy comments from the very first page of the site.

Instead of actually discussing, you have twice turned to personal attacks.


Maybe he is just lonely...


He probably is. But he is also a troll.


Original comment I responded to:

“Thanks for the feedback. I created this project because ​​I know many people who struggled with loneliness at times in their lives. My hope is that by sharing this experience we’ll feel a sense of connection when we’re alone, and find more acceptance of ourselves and our aloneness, however happy, peaceful, or sad.”

You said...

The entirety of your comment related to how being alone is a sickness.

Your selective reading is actually impressive in its way, and seems either deliberate or deluded.

Edit: Ah downvotes, the currency of the struck nerve.


Your comment was correctly downvoted because it broke the site guidelines. You've been doing this a ton. If you can't or won't stop, we're going to ban your account, even though we appreciate fine submissions like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16001776. Please take the principles of this site to heart and clean up your act if you want to keep commenting here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Agree with this. It'll be important for Solo to highlight and even celebrate the positive aspects of being alone to avoid this.


There have been times when I've felt extremly lonely. I think an app like this which connects lonely people together would be awesome!

I generally just visit some random subreddits or random rooms on Discord when I feel lonely.


Or, connect lonely people to those that might lend an ear, offer advice, or just offer support in some other way.


Normally, I'd say go see your doctor. I'm not sure if he has solid advice for einsamkeit but at least he can reference to a psychologist so you can get treated for depression. Many elder people are lonely, but the underlying problem is actually depression.

There's an alternative to creating an Instagram or Facebook for lonely people: learn to deal with it, and take the positive out of loneliness.

1) You don't have to take other's viewpoints, desires, preferences, opinions into account.

2) You can live in silence, and can therefore decide if/when you play audio or video, read a book, play the piano. Heck, do a solo sport, or meditate.

Once you have solace with being lonely, you can be productive. You'll be able to for example study, you'll be able to write a book.

Then, when you do meet other people, you'll have something meaningful to sure.

And then an application like this can hook these people up. But I wonder if platforms like Instagram and Facebook don't already also serve that purpose. Or, heck, something like deviantArt.

If you can't entertain yourself while you're alone or if you can't be productive while you're alone that's not loneliness. That's depression. I adore being alone, its when I'm most productive. Then again, I'm a loner, and I embraced that, and because I was only child I learned to entertain myself whilst being alone.


Suicide hotlines are generally under handed, I don't think we have enough people to help lonely people just yet.


That's 7cups of tea.


maybe it's a silly question. When I opened it from desktop it tells me to go to my phone, and then I open it from my phone, and then it shows me this mobile web app (not a native app). What's the point of telling me to open from my phone if it's only a web app anyway?


I remember that there was an anonymous social network a while ago. The screenshots for this service look similar. Maybe someone got nostalgic for that long lost application.

Edit: I think that was "Secret", it shut down in 2015.


Props for continuing the project.

Here's the original post from July 2014: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7985932


As someone who is alone, yes, I get lonely. Everyone who wants for more gets lonely, and it isn't necessarily a compliment -- it applies to idiots as well as geniuses and everyone in between.


Just curious are you aware of a quite similar Chinese app which have been running some time? it is called "BaoBao"


Couldn't help thinking of this:

"If you find yourself struggling with loneliness, you're not alone. And yet you are alone. So very alone." (https://despair.com/products/loneliness)


Joking aside, it seems like a great idea for an app.


I am not alone any longer, so I don't think I can legitimately post on the site.

But I love the app and that it is just a plain web app. No play store or app store, and no nagging data collection. I hope this is the future of apps.


It's pretty moving. I just wonder what the dynamics may be when this gains traction. I guess it could make you feel ever more lonely when you get down to posting something and nobody reacts in any way.


There is an easily-fixable bug that breaks it on Firefox,

Change `$('#cameraInput').change(function (e) {` to `$('#cameraInput').change(function (event) {`


This reminds me of Secret. I wish that I'd seen this before I messed around with Secret, I'd be more inclined to share some tidbits.


Can you cut the "like" system? In some ways it contributes to the problem we see with people on most social media.


It's even lonelier when you post to a site intended for people who are alone and your post is silently rejected.


Ironic that Facebook is not doing this job!


How could it? No one trusts it. It is literally impossible for Facebook to ever provide an anonymous service of any kind, because they will always be able to implement some algorithm to at least try and associate you with your real identity.


Yeah obviously what I'm portraying as irony is really just the contrast between Facebook's marketing itself as a wonderful new way to "connect" and "share," and the actual truth that it's a surveillance machine.


Tried searching for the app in Google Store. Does the app exist for Android?


It's a website, not an app. You have to access http://sharesolo.com/ from your phone.


The relevance of this on the Holiday season is tragic.


Awesome. I wish Instagram was still this way.


Okay I get it that people are lonely, but this app is nuts. I would understand network like that for diabetics. Being lonely is not a sickness.

Seriously this crowd acts like everything is a sickness. You have ADHD because you can’t focus for 5 minutes straight, but you don’t think of deleting facebook from your app first, see if that works.

Same here. I’m-so-lonely, boo hoo go out and make some friends! Did we really become so passive?

Don’t you think it would be better to sign up for a boxing class and meet some people as opposed to making an app about how sad you are?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: