The internet can be a scary and straight-up unsexy place sometimes -- especially for people who are just trying to learn more and have real conversation.
Coming from the mind of Joe Wheeler — winner of last year's "Look Different Challenge" — Look Deeper is an online tool that creates a safe, pre-moderated space for the conversations you want to have about bias: Whether it's in pop culture, the news, or just something you might've encountered in your everyday life.
Do you have some thoughts on the Rachel Dolezal debacle? Having trouble understanding where Caitlyn Jenner is coming from? Have you encountered some bias IRL that you need to talk-out with some friendly ears on the internet? You can do that here. With categories that cover things like racial, gender, LGBT biases and more, you can anonymously share stories, comments, questions, video, audio or links with others in the community — while still logging in to keep track of your own posts and conversations.
Wheeler told MTV News that he was inspired by the fleeting nature of apps like Snapchat and Vine and the power of microblogging platforms like Twitter.
"I started thinking about how much content you can actually pack into super small formats. I really wanted something that was quick and almost fleeting, but held as much emotional power as possible," Wheeler said. "Unlike SnapChat, I didn't want these messages to disappear. But I did want them to feel safe and easy to let go of: A series of these small, fleeting, shared moments could then come together to build something much bigger."
The guidelines are pretty straight-forward: If you don’t have something to contribute (read: if you’re just trolling), this isn’t the place for you. Treat every member of the diverse community with the same respect you'd want yourself and we’ll all have a better conversation. That's what keeps the space safe and the conversation flowing.
"Silence will never let us overcome these wicked systemically engrained social issues. I think getting people comfortable talking about social issues is the first step to addressing those issues. The first step to recovery [is] admitting you have a problem, right?" Wheeler said. "That's what Look Deeper is all about — honestly sharing your own story and beliefs while building empathy for others by listening to their stories and beliefs. I hope that is what it can be for people."
So now you can go ahead and ditch the drama of trying to always have these talks on your Facebook or Twitter feeds 24/7 and actually have the conversations you really care about -- without worrying about fielding comments from your combative great-aunt or the weird personal attacks from some rando you went to high school with. [praise hands emoji]
Now go forth and go deeper.
Join The Conversation At LookDeeper.org.