There’s an app for everything, it seems, and idea of paying it forward hasn’t been left out. You can now get a PIF app for your iPhone. It is the official app of the worldwide Pay it Forward Foundation. This non-profit was founded by Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of the bestselling Pay it Forward novel that was made into a film by the same name. Together, the book and film made “pay it forward” part of everyday language and culture.
PIF’s mission is to foster the principle itself—“to inspire and educate individuals of all ages and walks of life about the human impact of making a personal decision to change the world through simple acts of kindness—big or small. To help the world reclaim simplicity in a complex world,” the foundation’s website says.
Here’s how the app works: Once you download it, you get a daily suggestion of some act of kindness that you can make. The app helps you keep track of and share your progress. As the designers put it, “Our app is designed to be a gentle reminder to be kind to those around us. Our team has worked hard at creating the app to be effective and social. The idea is simple, the app is simple, and imagine the difference in your community if everyone was doing these simple deeds on a daily basis?”
I downloaded the app—it’s free—and I joined. The first suggestion for a good deed I got was to “Shop at your local charity thrift store. The money you spend there helps others.” The Kiwanis store is closed now, but it did make me stop and think: I could stop by on the way to work.
The app is obviously new, but it contains some good features. These include a map of the world showing where acts of kindness are taking place. Not unexpectedly, they are concentrated in the developed world. The app also lets you suggest a good deed. It has a leader board that highlights the most generous contributors.
Can technology increase the practice of paying it forward?
Can something as simple as an app help?
Heard about it before today? Interested? Or uninterested in the idea?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.