Updated: Jan 3
Americans spend too much time in front of screens and it’s not really any fault of our own; we’re surrounded by them. Desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or whatever platform you’re reading this article on are cultural icons that punctuate our daily lives. But do you know what we’re not surrounded by? Friends.
The General Social Survey found that the number of Americans with no close friends have tripled since the 90’s. And while there are lots of factors that play into this increased loneliness, we cannot overlook the impact of technology. Even if you’re not lonely, there’s a good chance that the people around you are. Loneliness stems from a lack of involvement. People who are not engaged with themselves, their peers, and their community tend to distract themselves with technology. Technology provides a momentary and unfulfilling escape from the loneliness of our day-to-day lives which does not address the real social problem, it just delays it. We are connected to so much through our smartphones, that we are really connected to nothing in the real world.
That’s where the Kick-it Points app comes in. Our platform encourages locals and tourists alike to engage in prosocial behavior. How it works is that we reward users with deals from local businesses when they engage in behaviors like hiking, going to the beach, attending the local farmers’ market, and pretty much anything else that requires people to be social in the real world. Merchants can geolocate their deal, which can be a discount on a product or service they offer at a location like a local beach, a nearby college campus, or even the very location of the business itself, and only once the users go to those locations can claim these deals. Once claimed, users need only head to the business offering the deal and show the discount that’s been stored on their phone to the server or cashier. The goal with Kick-it Points is to take users through a cycle of real world engagement that benefits every party in the community. Users get deals and social activities, local businesses increase key performance indexes (like exposure, foot traffic, and retention), and the city maximizes it’s dollars spent locally and augments the exposure of its local events and activities.
In order to continually evolve the Kick-it Points platform for the betterment of every city we are active in, our team visited Nicoya, Costa Rica, one of the worlds 5 Blue Zones. Blue Zones are regions where people on average have significantly better quality of life and life expectancy as compared to other places around the world. In fact, 1 in every 250 people in Nicoya outlive 100 years of age, compared to only 1 in every 4,000 people in the US. Look out for our next article to see what we learned from visiting a Blue Zone. We hope to gather insight that we can bring into our community through the Kick-it Points app.