You can work out with your trainer, chat with your nutritionist, and even log on for a visit with your gynecologist via app. The next virtual wellness frontier? Therapy.
The most well-known online therapy app, Talkspace, debuted in 2012, but it’s been gaining lots of traction lately and is now one of many mobile mental health clinics, like BetterHelp, 7Cups, and Etherapy Pro.
More and more people are skipping the therapist’s couch and using their own couch to work through their issues with a pro, remotely. At the same time, there are concerns about the model. Talkspace has been criticized for not being set up to properly handle situations that involve suicide risk or abuse, and for not being totally transparent on the privacy front.
Those are serious issues that need to be addressed, but the question I set out to answer is a simpler one: What’s it really like? Is sending your deepest thoughts via text really the same thing as getting them off your chest in person? And can virtual advice from someone you’ve never met actually help you figure out your shiz?
I signed up for Talkspace to find out.
This post was written in partnership with Capital One.
As far as milestones go, buying a home is a pretty epic one. Aside from the sticker shock (it’s likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, unless you’re also in the market for a G6 or a Caribbean island), it’s a very adult feeling… like you’ve stepped into the Monopoly game of your childhood and bought a nice corner property on Pacific Avenue.
When we bought our first home, the whole process felt like riding a tidal wave of paper and emotions (but mostly paper— so much paper!). My husband and I were clear on our budget— but the rest of the process of home loan application and home financing? We had no idea.
Our real estate agent was patient and lovely, but treated us like the uneducated newbies that we were. She did her best to explain the mortgage process, but it all felt so opaque and mysterious. Looking back, we pretty much just crossed our fingers that we were getting the right advice, and that we wouldn’t run into any snags.
Not exactly a brilliant plan.
Apps / Family
Most of us spend way more time than we’d like to admit chatting (a.k.a. procrastinating) on Facebook Messenger. But the growing popularity of bots —software that automates conversation between consumers and brands or services — means we can recoup some of that chatting time in the name of productivity. YASS!
The main purpose of a bot is to make your life more convenient and productive by helping you to get things done without ever leaving Messenger. From where the brand sits, it’s a fun way to connect with and help consumers (and, yes, collect information about their preferences, but not unlike every other interaction on the web). Brands can offer cool services and recommendations with less clicks— no need to search Google for “Best Recipe for Guacamole” and scan thousands of results. Instead, “text” with a bot brand you trust and get the answer hand-delivered.
Saving + Shopping
When Snapchat debuted its Snap Map feature in June, it positioned it as a fun, convenient tool made for finding nearby friends with just a click. Not sure where to head after dinner? Look! Three of your friends are at a concert nearby and it hasn’t started yet. Now you can show up and crash their party.
They were selling “fun and social” but those aren’t the words most are using to describe the new feature. Instead people are calling it stalkerish. Creepy. Dangerous. You get the picture. Child safety groups, in particular, have sounded alarms about what the feature means for kids who use the app.
If you’re worried about your teen, given her near obsession with that dog face filter, here’s what you need to know about Snap Map, including how it works and how to easily turn it off.
Style / Work + Travel
It makes sense that Amazon would want to hold their massive and legendary 3rd Annual Prime Day shopping event on a day that had great significance. So they scheduled it on my birthday, natch!
Amazon Prime Day is on July 11th (tomorrow!) and it’s kinda like Christmas in July— with the cyber deals to match— and you just can’t miss it if you’re looking to do some summer shopping at a discount. I’m going to consider this epic shopping day of deals a personal birthday fete and get in on all 30 hours of deal shopping starting today at 6pm PT/9pm ET and ending at midnight tomorrow (apparently, even though it’s Prime Day, it needed to spill over to more than 24 hours).
I’m writing this while escaping briefly from the sun on the shores of Lanai. There are dolphins playing in the water outside my window, I kid you not. They will have to remove me from this place with a crowbar, but alas we’ll be home in a few short days and my Hawaiian adventure will be over.
So, a short post today, wishing you a very happy fourth of July weekend (if you haven’t seen my Red White & Blue style and tech post, check it out here), with some things I packed for Hawaii paradise.