Image: Founder and CEO of Unorthodox, Siviwe Mgolodela

CAPE TOWN - Unorthodox is an anonymous social network that seeks to connect people to diverse and authentic ideas, thoughts, opinions and life experiences to allow them to express themselves without any judgment. 

According to the founder and CEO, Siviwe Mgolodela, This platform gives people a voice. It is a platform for all especially including the socially awkward and those suffering from depression. 

Mgolodela says, "To comment specifically on users suffering from depression, I would say the impact the app will have is to create a space where authentic dialogue can occur".

"Where people will realise that they are not the only one going through what they are going through; that chances are someone out there will relate and validate them because, at the end of the day, we all want validation". 

Presently, 200 users have registered accounts on the website. 

"The posts and comments I have already seen on the platform restore my hope in humanity. I am already witnessing the impact that Unorthodox is having on its users", says Mogolodela.

Janine Roos, a Director at the Mental Health Information Centre at the University of Stellenbosch believes that a platform such as this could have a positive impact on society.

" I would say potential benefits could be users being able to ‘vent’ and talk about what they feel and their concerns anonymously and to find a community of people living with the same conditions/concerns. It helps a lot to know that there are others grappling with the same problems as you are and that you can freely talk about it", says Roos. 

"It could be a good idea to use the site to make users aware of the symptoms of a clinical depression/anxiety disorder, etc. and to encourage them to seek medical advice if they recognise those symptoms in themselves or a friend or family member", says Roos.

However, Janine Roos says that it is important that users should always remember that self-help is fine, but there comes a time in any illness that it would be best to make an appointment with a medical professional.

Mogolodela believes that The future for Unorthodox is extremely bright. 

He says, "Up until now, social media was all about everything being public and about how many followers a person has that has long been people’s source of validation."

 "To go against all of that was very risky, but it would appear that people are gradually getting used to this personal and anonymous form of communication where no one cares about how many followers you have or how pretty your selfie is". 

"At present, the interface is pretty simple, but I believe we all have to start somewhere. With the right financial support, I believe there is no limits to how huge this platform is going to be not only in South Africa but worldwide", concludes Mogolodela.