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All Posts in Talklife in London

July 02, 2016 - 1 comment.

Hide & Seek

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JenJennifer Russell, @j5nnRussell
Head of Operations, TalkLife

Today I am hiding away. I am having one of ‘those’ days-a down day, a funk, feeling a bit low whatever you want to call it. It’s been building for a few days and it generally passes within a few days but for now it’s resulted in me sitting in my pyjamas feeling totally shit and then hating myself for it. And knowing it’s probably only temporary isn’t helping one bit. It’s making me feel very angry at myself and at the world around me. I promised myself that I would talk about this. So I am. I have to share how I feel because I believe that in sharing and not hiding away it might make a difference-not only to how I feel but maybe if there are other people out there feeling the same it might make a difference to them. Or it might not. Either way I’ve started now so I might as well continue.

We hide so much as a society. A few days ago I was locked in the bathroom whilst out with friends taking a moment for myself having felt overwhelmed (when this first started to kick in) and it occurred to me how much we hide and how hiding can feel so isolating and lonely. I started to think about all the ways and things we hide. Hiding is a huge characteristic of our society, we all hide all the bloody time!

I hid my need for some space alone (a perfectly reasonable need? But slightly socially unacceptable?) by telling my friends I needed to use the bathroom-that always buys you a good 20 minutes before anyone really realises you’re gone. I’ve taken days sick from work with ‘food poisoning’ because it’s much easier and more acceptable than saying ‘I can’t get out of bed today and I can’t really tell you why’. We hide the fact that we are pregnant incase something goes wrong and we wouldn’t want people to know about that (i’ve never quite understood that, personally I would want the support but thems the ‘rules’), we hide the fact that we want to get pregnant, or don’t want to. We hide the fact that we are grieving (still), that we are struggling with relationships, that we feel scared, insecure, anxious. We hide the moments where we have fallen apart as human beings and where we thought we might never find a way to build ourselves again. We hide that we can’t sleep or struggle with eating or drinking. That we feel fat, or thin, or unattractive. We hide that we worry about our future, that our children and friends are finding it hard to cope and it’s tearing us up inside. We sometimes even hide when we are happy, or when things are going well. Or we hide our hopes and dreams for fear that they might not come true (or they might, that’s scary too!) or we might seem arrogant. We hide what makes us unique for fear of being unacceptable or causing upset. We hide what makes us human. We hide what we all feel at times. We hide what ties us all together, what makes us love and cherish each other and what makes us feel connected.

It feels so unnatural to hide the bits of ourselves that society finds unacceptable but it has become so natural to us that we hardly recognise we are doing it.

I totally understand why we hide, sharing the difficult stuff sounds terrifying and i’m the first to admit that being around me on a day like today when I am not hiding is no fun for anyone! But I think it’s equally terrifying being isolated and feeling like you are the only one in the world feeling like this on a day like today.

So I’m not going to hide today. And i’m not going to write anymore either-I’ve run out of steam. But for anyone out there who is hiding as well today-you are not alone. x

PS. I feel marginally better.

April 09, 2016 - No Comments!

Smilin’ Challenge

 


If you haven’t heard of TalkLife, it’s where you find friends and a place to belong. There’s a huge community of people like you, who understand. Download for free on your Apple or Android device.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, and potentially at risk of self harm or suicide, it is important to seek professional help NOW. Click here for links to emergency help.

March 24, 2016 - No Comments!

TalkEaster-let’s get creative!

The long Easter weekend is here-hooray! To celebrate we want you get your creative juices flowing and get involved in our #EasterLife competition. We know that you are a creative bunch so for the next few days we want you to tap into your artistic side. We know that Easter means different things for everyone so share us what this holiday weekend means to you.

Whether it’s poetry, artwork, videos, photos or music-send it our way! Submit your entry by using the #EasterLife hashtag. You can use whatever social media platform you like to share as well as posting directly on Talklife-just don’t forget the hashtag!

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Of course no competition is complete without some awesome prizes- we are giving away a pair of Beats Audio Headphones for the winner and we each of the 5 runners up will receive a TalkLife T-shirt!!!

 

tshirtSubmit your entry by using #easterlife #talklife on photos, posts, tweets, or instagram by Monday 28th March at midnight (PST) to be in the running for a prize.  

You can check out all of the submissions here Good luck and we can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Jen and the TalkLife team.

 


If you haven’t heard of TalkLife, it’s where you find friends and a place to belong. There’s a huge community of people like you, who understand. Download for free on your Apple or Android device.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, and potentially at risk of self harm or suicide, it is important to seek professional help NOW. Click here for links to emergency help.

 

February 23, 2016 - No Comments!

What is TalkLife Connect?

In my first blog in December 2015, I introduced myself and right at the end I gave a little teaser about TalkLife Connect. Now that it’s been going for two months, I thought I’d write a little about what TalkLife Connect is and how it's going.

In December I predicted that the service was:

“going to be amazing, we are going to break all the barriers of traditional therapy by allowing users to instant message with a therapist in their own time, at their own pace, without needing referrals from doctors, without a confronting face to face session. The service isn’t free though and is only going to be available to over 18’s, but will be groundbreaking.”

Well I’m really pleased to say that now that we have launched and we are well into it, I think my prediction in December was right. In fact, all of those things are true! Read more

July 29, 2014 - 5 comments

Update From Jamie.

Hi TalkLifers,

I'm really excited to be writing to you today. I'm going to announce some of our next steps in our TalkLife journey.

Hopefully in a few days time we will be launching version 4.3 of TalkLife for iOS.  I'm really pumped and proud to get this version up and into the app stores... but i'm also quite nervous.

Version 4.3 is packed with features and updates including a much cleaner user interface and a new trigger warning system allowing us to remove posts you may find triggering. You'll find more instant help services for faster support and a special category for those who need help but haven't had a response yet.

 

Today I'd like to chat about our SuperTalker upgrade. 

We're finally about to turn it back on and I would like you to know exactly what to expect.

For the last few years TalkLife has been completely free (plus a little bit of advertising) and an option to donate if users could manage. While every donation was amazing and appreciated, as many of you know it barely covered 5% of our ever expanding running costs.

As our savings have been rapidly depleting and we're now full time on TalkLife as volunteers we knew something needed to change to keep us afloat.

So our team got together late last year and discussed all of the options moving forward. Our core mission has always been to provide an incredible free platform that could grow as needed in order to help thousands of young adults around the globe without restriction.

The two options on the table were to setup as a non-profit and hope that we could raise government funding from our primary countries, Australia, the United Kingdom & the United States, or we could have a crack and create a sustainable business model that would provide a consistent revenue stream into the future and give us a lot more certainty.

While government funding seemed like an easy place to go, when we delved deeper and spoke with government members it became clear that governments like Australia were putting less money into mental health organisations and there are many, many groups fighting for the few available grants.

So we decided to create the SuperTalker upgrade at a once off $4.99. This would allow engaged users who could afford to give back the option to donate and receive cool unlocks and features like chat and messaging without taking anything away from the free service.

On launch in December 2013 we sold 1550 SuperTalkers and it appeared to be quite successful - aside from a few bugs, users appreciated the additional features.

I quickly noticed however that the messaging platform most users were upgrading to unlock simply wasn't good enough. It had bugs and the chat wasn't holding up to the high level of usage.

After much discussion and feedback from users I decided to turn off the upgrade and without altering our code we limited the ability to find the in-app purchase or the links. I thought it's better to hold off upgrading than users being charged for a far from perfect service.

After six months of solid planning and work redeveloping the upgrade I believe we're almost ready to turn it back on!

 

The NEW SuperTalker!

The new SuperTalker upgrade will give users the chance to share more about themselves through a range of customisable profile options. We're giving TalkLifers the chance to further engage the community with a new 'My Story' section. You'll also be able to upload additional photos or a gif avatar. Plus users can now earn badges for helping others within the app highlighting our SuperUsers.

With the additional photo uploads we've also taken new security measures giving users the ability to flag profiles, hide users from the feed and moderators will be able to reset photos we deem inappropriate.

The new SuperTalker will have a 7-day trial period giving you a chance to have a play and see if it's worthwhile or not. Of course every feature users are used to will remain completely 100% free. While i'm in charge of TalkLife we're going to keep it this way.

So how much is this new upgrade going to cost? Well i'm putting the whole upgrade up for a monthly subscription at US$0.99. I know to many this is a lot of money to some but it gives users who want to engage further and give back a real chance to do so.

I want to make it really clear that we need to charge for this service in order to keep the lights on at TalkLife. Developing apps costs thousands of dollars every month and this really is the only way TalkLife can move forward and keep the doors open (or the servers on).

I believe this upgrade is worth far more than the monthly $0.99 and I really hope you see value and understand why we're doing this. Not only will it improve your Talklife experience, but you'll be helping us provide a platform that is helping thousands of people every day.

For existing SuperTalkers, I really want to honour the commitment and donation you've previously made to us. I'm going to give all existing SuperTalkers a 12 month pass to the new SuperTalker upgrade.

I always love hearing your feedback and i'd especially like to hear from you on this. If you have the time please send me an email jd@talklife.com.au I'll do my very best to respond to every email. Please don't ask me for a free upgrade (I'm not going to be able to do this although I would love to).

 

The Other News...

In other news, i'll be moving from Australia across to London for a while! TalkLife has been giving an amazing opportunity to take part in a program under Bethnal Green Ventures. With investment from Bethnal Green and support with SuperTalker I honestly believe we can create a more professional platform and help many more young people around the world to connect and share.

I would personally like to thank every person involved in TalkLife. We have a large team of developers and supporters around the globe who do their very best to keep the service running.

Jacob White, our incredible designer slaves over pixels in the early hours of the morning before his day job and his beautiful wife Penny has been a tremendous support.

Andrew Montesi our PR manager handles your tweets and all those tricky interviews and communications. Andrew is literally pushing himself harder than he should over the last few months working across three jobs while raising a beautiful family with Hannah & Frankie.

My final thank you would be to our incredible volunteer moderators and admin team, without you we simply couldn't do what we do. While this is probably my weakest area, our moderators show incredible diligence to filter through thousands of posts every day to keep our application safe. Kart is my solid rock, some nights she checks through flags in the early hours of the morning between sleep, between work and I know she cares deeply about all of you.

TalkLifers I want you to know that you are the reason we keep fighting. This application is designed for you to share in times of need. It's your application. Without you and our incredible community we wouldn't have an application. Yes I know we have many flaws but together we can create something incredible.

Lots of Love, JD XX

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