There are apps that helps you organize lists and apps that help you work out, encouragement apps, religious apps, comedy apps and apps to help you shop. In fact, there are lots of apps to help shopping. Big shock there.But Hello Cruel World is one of the few apps that can save your life. Based on gender radical and lifesaver Kate Bornstein's book Hello Cruel World: Alternatives to Suicide for Freaks, Teens and Other Outlaws, the app is a wonderfully simple guide to well, alternatives to suicide.
The app contains a catalog of 101 alternatives to suicide. Written very much from a loving, harm reduction viewpoint, suggestions include treat yourself like an honored guest, send out a distress signal, make art out of it, experiment on animals and small children (that is, social skills), stay in bed, travel and have adventures, moisturize, go stealth, go completely batty, learn another language of love, and one I particularly like, write your own code of honor. To use app, you thumb through the cards until you find one you like, tap and read the back.
As the description that comes with the app says, these alternatives range from playful to irreverent to highly controversial. But its the inclusion of the more controversial alternatives that actually makes the app so important. When people are feeling down and really really down, the last thing they need is moralizing. They need understanding and they need, well, real alternatives. Considering these alternatives, guided by a single rule, “don't be mean,” seems one step closer to safety for anyone having a hard time.