This tool will assist with:
- Promoting positive self-esteem
- Building healthy communication amongst teenagers
- Promoting expressions of appreciation
About Appreciate a mate
Appreciate a mate (or @ppreciate) is a website and app for promoting good self-esteem and positive communication between young people. Young people can use the website or app to customise their choice of quote or compliment as a unique image to share with friends, changing backgrounds and text colours to personalise. Images can be saved and shared on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.
The app is part of the ongoing Safe and Well Online research project from the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre designed to create positive behaviour change and inspire greater respect online amongst young Australians. Behind the scenes, the researchers are examining the impact and effectiveness of a series of digital campaigns, in a bid to learn more about the role social marketing can play to support the safety and wellbeing of young people.
Where to access this tool
‘Appreciate a mate’ website
Download from iTunes
Need it on an Android phone? If you access the website from your mobile, it will prompt you to save the site as an app on your phone.
When to use Appreciate a mate
Appreciate a mate is appropriate for young people 12-18 years. It is useful in the context of strengthening social relationships or encouraging forms of creative expression that promote positive communication. Feedback from professional and young reviewers suggested it can be helpful to generate short motivational quotes or to reconnect with friends.
Suggestions for introducing the tool in practice:
- Enquire about their social media use and whether they share images and positive messages. Talk about what they get out of sharing these images (also known as ‘memes’)
- Give the URL to the young person and explain its purpose and limitations.
- Show examples of the type of messages that can be sent and discuss ways this may help them and others.
What young people thought of Appreciate a mate
- The messages are short, simple yet very powerful.
- It’s visually appealing and colourful.
- There are a variety of colours and backgrounds you can use, you could customise it for the friend you are sending it to you.
- It can be used on mobile or web browsers.
- Some of the images were a bit hard to read.
- There was no ability to create your own image which was a bit disappointing. You can only choose messages pre-made by the designers.
- The messages come up randomly, so it can be hard to navigate to messages you like.
Professionals’ advice on using Appreciate a mate in practice
This tool is appropriate as a conversation starter on improving self-esteem, communication, and the ways social media plays a role in relationships. It should not be used as a therapeutic tool (i.e. as treatment for low self-esteem or self-image).
For young people with major self-esteem and self-image issues, this app should be used with caution and guidance, as it may unintentionally inflame and reinforce certain thought disturbances. For example, some of the messages focus on physical features such as hair type and colour, where it may be more constructive to encourage young people to value personal qualities such as humour or kindness instead.
Advice from young people
It is a great tool for young teens but not relevant for older teens / young adults.
A great way to help young teens connect with their friends and promote positive self-esteem.
Play around with it and don’t be shy to share a message you like with a friend!
This tool was reviewed by Chelsea and Doris, young people from the ReachOut.com community. Professional advice was provided by Alikki Russell (Psychologist) and Emma Kuhlman (Youth worker).
This tool is supported by the Butterfly Foundation.