We Are AloTok
Welcome to AloTok, the first social network of its kind that aims to tackle the problem of loneliness among senior citizens. AloTok provides a warm, secure and accessible community atmosphere that foster meaningful relationships among senior citizens. This is made possible through phone calls based on advanced technology that creates optimal connections between users based on availability and shared interests.
AloTok was founded by three entrepreneurs with a rich background in social ventures - Hana Rado, a feminist advocate, deputy CEO of McCann Tel Aviv and serial social and business entrepreneur; Maayan Bodenstein - a user interface designer (UI) who specializes in making interfaces accessible to challenging target audiences and advocates for animal rights and disenfranchised communities; and Shelly Harel, a social activist who works in a variety of areas, including establishing the first female-only party to run for the Tel Aviv City Council in order to promote gender equality.
AloTok was born out of Hana's personal experience with her mother Rina, a Holocaust survivor whose husband passed away a few years ago. Rina now lives next door to Hana and waits eagerly for the few minutes they spend together every day. The rest of the time she is left on her own with very little human interaction. Rina’s sense of loneliness is shared by many elderly people and discussed frequently on many platforms. The findings reveal a lonely world of senior citizens, with at least one in three reporting a sense isolation and the numbers increasing as the age goes up. They yearn for conversations and friendships, but their families are unable to dedicate enough time and attention to them in the everyday. So they cherish the few minutes during the week when they get personal attention and experience human interaction, be it with their caretaker or their family.
Loneliness is an epidemic with many health consequences - high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic infections and even dementia. "Loneliness can kill," says Mark Robinson, director of UK-based organization Age UK.
Last August, the American Psychological Association (APA) reported that loneliness has become a health risk to the public. A study conducted by the Silver Line company in the UK also found that among those who claim they feel lonely at times, phone calls have been proven to be the most useful remedy. However, 1 out of 4 adults either "never" or "rarely" converses over the phone.
Our extensive research on the phenomenon of loneliness has prompted us to develop AloTok, an almost obvious solution in the form of a technology-based social network that is accessible to all ages. Through AloTok, we can ensure that every elderly person who feels lonely can find someone on the other side of the line at any given time and from any place. AloTok will create a wide network of contacts that will link lonely senior citizens to one another and to many students as well, thus fostering new meaningful friendships and connections that will last over time.
Out of the social need to alleviate the affliction of loneliness, we have managed to find a technological-social solution that will ensure that no elderly person goes to bed before someone they know and care for wishes them good night.