Feeling stressed? Talking with this robot on Facebook might help

We live in a world where being stressed, or being “busy,” is a badge of honour, something to be proud of.

Many young people brag about not having enough time to hang out with friends, because being busy means you must be doing something right, right? Not necessarily.

A new Facebook chatbot messenger service, Shine, aims to help us balance out our lives, from work stresses to relationship woes.

Shine, which started as a texting service, aims to help millenials cope with some of the most stressful situations. 

Every day, you’ll receive advice, ranging in topics from how to ask for a raise at work or how to be an extra present listener (and why that’s a good thing).

Fun bonus: it often comes with a cute GIF attached to help drive home the message.

The service was created by two co-workers who “leaned on each other for support, advice and confidence tips,” and decided to build a way to bring that help to others. Because, guess what: everyone feels a little stressed, worried, and down about themselves sometimes, and they might just need a boost.

The two women were, respectively, the Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Mobile Product and Messaging for DoSomething, a site for people to organise social action campaigns.

Shine announced Thursday that it has been hard at work getting a chatbot ready for Facebook users.

This takes its SMS motivations and brings them to where a large number of people are getting their news, or stress triggers, from. (A friend just got a baby/wedding/book proposal/new job? Great, what are we doing just reading about it? What are we doing with our lives?)

“Social media is often criticised for the role it plays in social comparisons, FOMO, or feelings of self-doubt,” said founders Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey in Shine’s press statement. “We’re pumped that Shine can now leverage those same platforms to play a proactive role in helping people feel empowered to take on the daily stressors that make us all human.”

 Users can interact with the Facebook bot in two main ways:

1. Access Shine directly on Facebook messenger: daily affirmations coupled with tactical micro-actions to make your day better.

2. Message their Shine bot (sign up for here) with words or phrases like “ask for a raise” or “productivity hack” to get real-time advice on relevant topics.

“Think of it as a painkiller for the daily grind,” Hirabayashi said.

I’m 100% looking forward to more ways to slow down and de-stress. Like so many other young professionals, I can use all the help I can get.

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