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Being kind is a behavior that can positively impact people we interact with in our daily face-to-face encounters. These days, behavior can make a big difference in our online lives as well, for cyberspace is an active public sphere where social kindness can be fostered. As of mid-2015, the rapidly growing number of apps available for Android and iOS users stood at 3.1 million, giving all smartphone users the ability to carry some extra kindness in our pockets everyday.

Be My Eyes
www.bemyeyes.org

Anyone with a smartphone can lend their sight to a blind person via the app called Be My Eyes, launched in Jan. 2015. The app connects visually impaired people who would like some assistance with volunteer helpers from around the world via live video chat. A request could be something as simple as reading the label on a bottle of pills or reading the name above a doorbell. “It’s my hope that by helping each other as an online community, Be My Eyes will make a big difference in the everyday lives of blind people all over the world,” said BME founder Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who is visually impaired himself. Sighted people can simply download the application and register their languages to be ready to help on an iPhone 4 or newer models which feature synthetic speech and touch-based interface for the blind.

Hey! VINA
www.heyvina.com 

With the tagline, “Because one friend can change your whole life,” this iPhone app was launched to waves of favorable press coverage in early 2016. It’s designed in San Francisco by two female Millennials to help women find new friendships via the power of their extended circles before meeting offline. Several success stories generated by Hey! VINA users in the initial cities involve making new friends following a move, transitioning from classroom to office, and busy women needing an efficient way of connecting over shared interests from jogging to museum-going. Co-founder Olivia Poole says, “The overwhelming response from women indicates that Hey! VINA has struck a nerve.” An Android version is planned as cities are expanded. 

Charity Miles
www.charitymiles.org

Charity Miles is a free app for iPhone or Android users enabling them to raise funds via corporate sponsorships for charity as they move through the days’ activities. That includes walking, running, biking, shoveling snow or even just skipping out for a coffee. Established in 2012, there are more than 30 well-known charities such as World Wildlife Fund, Habitat for Humanity, and The Nature Conservancy. Sponsors such as Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Timex, and Lifeway Foods make it possible. The instructions are simple: just launch the app, enable GPS, choose a charity and start moving. The selected charity then earns money for every mile covered. Walkers and runners earn up to 25 cents per mile; bikers earn up to 10 cents per mile.

ReThink
www.rethinkwords.com

ReThink is a free app designed to effectively stop cyberbullying. In her proprietary research, the founder discovered that adolescents were 93 percent less likely to post a mean message when first prompted to “rethink about it.” As the first- ever solution to proactively prevent cyberbullying before the damage is done,” ReThink is the brainchild of Trisha Prabhu. In response to the sad news that a Florida teen had taken her life as a result of extremely aggressive cyberbullying, Trisha created a non-intrusive technology solution. At age 13, already adept at coding, Trisha was named one of Business Insider’s most powerful people in tech, and in 2014, she was honored as a finalist in the Google Science Fair before heading to the White House Science Fair. ReThink is available for download on iOS and Android as additional languages are being developed.

This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr via Examiner.com for CBS Local Media