Feel Good Friday: Helpfulpeeps and the Karma Economy

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Capitalism has worked pretty well for a long time. For one, it’s done an excellent job driving innovation as companies jockey for consumer attention and paychecks. Still, it’s hard to deny the system’s shortcomings.

Though capitalism has blessed us with several animatronic Elmo dolls, it’s somewhat inefficient; instead of encouraging us to chase our bliss, it urges us to amass imaginary wealth that we hope will someday turn into happiness. In our quest for sweet, sweet money, many of us grow indifferent — or even hostile — to each other.

Related: 3 Productivity Apps You “Appsolutely” Need

Helpfulpeeps, a new social networking site, seeks to establish a “karma economy.” Though it probably won’t bring about the end of capitalism, helpfulpeeps is making a noble effort to connect people through good deeds rather than money.

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Like any good social networking site, helpfulpeeps is very simple. All you have to do is create a profile, ask the helpfulpeeps community for help via an easy-to-use interface, and reach out to others you think you can help. Each time you help someone, you earn “karma,” an important indicator of your reputation on the site.

What kind of help can you ask for? Just about anything that’s legal. For instance, you might ask for an extra pair of arms during your next move, guitar lessons, or just someone to watch the game with. The currencies of choice are time and effort — unlike almost everything else on the planet, helpfulpeeps wants you to keep your money.

Founded in 2014 by Saf Nazeer and Simon Hills, helpfulpeeps already has thousands of users in more than 40 countries. The epicenter is Bristol, UK; where users swap good deeds on a daily basis. We urge you to give helpfulpeeps a try — if you like it, consider spreading the word. The more peeps who use it, the more helpful it becomes.  

Social media is supposedly meant to bring us closer together; ironically, many platforms serve as pits of narcissism, cruelty, and isolation. Helpfulpeeps is in a position to deliver on the promise of social media, making it easier to practice selflessness, kindness, and community.

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