Greta McAnany believes young people should have a safe space to express themselves and explore self-identities. That’s why she co-founded Blue Fever, an online platform designed to foster inclusion and create a judgement-free space where young people can be themselves.
Growing up, Greta often wished she had a big sister who could give her advice. She created Blue Fever to provide young people with a space where they can seek advice and guidance from others who understand what they’re going through. “Blue Fever started because when I was growing up, I always wanted an older sister. That was like my ideal,” Greta tells In The Know. “I wanted a big sister who could guide me and mentor me, and I was looking for this space that could really help me know that I wasn’t alone and that I was enough and really I don’t think I had the words at the time, but helping me build my foundational layer of identity.”
Blue Fever is designed to provide guidance on everything from major life events to day-to-day emotions. “ I like to imagine Blue Fever as this universe of topical communities and each community is a journal, and these journals have different topics so it could be like, a feeling that you’re feeling right now, like sad or stressed or happy, or it could be something you’re trying to do, or it could be a life event you’re going through, like changing my pronouns, coming out, going back to school,” Greta explains. “So you’ve got all these different topical communities for all these different parts of yourself.”
Community members can contribute to Blue Fever by creating multimedia pages within each journal. “ It’s almost like you’re filling out this journal with other people and creating a full picture of what’s it like coming out today, what’s it like experiencing stress,” says Greta. “Blue is guiding you based on what you’re feeling, what you’ve expressed, to a resource that is helpful to you in that moment.”
While Blue Fever encourages users to interact with each other, Greta notes that it’s not social media in the traditional sense. “We call Blue Fever an emotional media platform, not a social media platform,” Greta explains. “That means that we are a platform for building healthy identities and we train our algorithm to have emotional relevance, which means essentially thinking about what do you need as a human, what is going to guide and support you towards becoming your best self?”
Greta believes that social media can be a toxic, stressful space for young people. She wants Blue Fever to be the antidote to that toxicity. “I like to think of online toxicity as this massive umbrella. There can be something as egregious as outright bullying and trolling, and then it can be far more insidious like FOMO or comparing yourself to other people’s perfectly edited bodies or faces or just overall vibe,” she explains. “We’re not here to compete with social media, we’re here to be complementary, we’re here to be different and serve a different purpose. I think that there a lot of reactive solutions, but what we need more of are proactive solutions.”
Ultimately, Blue Fever is all about community. Greta takes joy in the fact that users are helping to build the platform by engaging with each other and creating multimedia pages that others can relate to. “The experience of Blue Fever is really powerful to see all these parts of people and then to really see yourself in all of these other people,” Greta tells In The Know. “A lot of people think of the utility of technology as just part of life and we’re moving on to this new phase of the internet which is about community, expression, and our emotional and real selves.”
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