New App Dialup Tackles Loneliness By Connecting People In Coronavirus Quarantine
If you've started to self-isolate, you'll most likely have realised quite quickly how comfortable you are with your own company. If you're among those who needs to spend time in the presence of others, then good news: QuarantineChat has stepped up to connect people.
The voice app allows people to chat to others - who could be anywhere in the world - without needing to swap phone numbers.
Max Hawkins and Danielle Baskin are the brains behind the idea. They initially dreamed up the concept last year, when they came up with the idea of people being able to anonymously call strangers.
But of course, with recent events, the idea developed to help prevent those who are self-isolating from feeling so alone.
The app itself is called Dialup and is described as a 'voice-chat app that connects you serendipitously to the people you want to stay in touch with' - but the QuarantineChat function is the MVP here.
Basically, it means users can log in and then be randomly connected with someone who they can chat with.
Baskin told Artnet: "When we heard about people all over the world in quarantine, we thought we could also host calls specifically for people affected by the virus."
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There are about 70 people using the app at the moment but the creators said the service would be able to handle any amount of users.
Baskin added: "Whether 20 people pick up or 20,000 people pick up, everyone on QuarantineChat is paired randomly in a one-on-one."
The most popular timezones are Pacific Standard Time and Iran Standard Time - which would make sense given that some of the areas that have been hit the hardest - the state of California and Iran - fall into these zones.
We're hosting QuarantineChat for anyone experiencing isolation from the virus.
First call is happening at 10pm PST / 9:30am IRST.
If you're already on Dialup, DM us to be added. https://t.co/dqfwqLZ0g3
- :earth_americas: (@dialupdotcom) March 3, 2020
The pair told Business Insider in an email: "It's to bring magic and serendipity to a new reality where thousands of people are stuck inside alone for the next month all over the world."
Baskin initially came up with the idea after self-isolating in her San Francisco apartment back in 2017, having contracted mono (aka glandular fever) after visiting China.
Feeling sick and lonely, she felt like connecting with someone who was going through the same thing would make her feel better.
She explained: "I thought, 'I wish I could talk on the phone to other people with mono and ask them what movies they're watching and other stuff.'
"It would be nice to talk to them because I know we're going through a similar experience together at this moment."
You can find out more about Dialup here.
Featured Image Credit: QuarantineChat