Quitting social media and growing closer

April 2, 2021

At Cocoon, we conduct member interviews every week to learn more about how the app is weaving into people's lives, and uncover opportunities to serve them better. This series shares some of our favorite stories.

We recently had an inspiring conversation with Alicia Allie, who runs a physical therapy practice in Tucson, Arizona. Alicia shared how the pandemic caused her to reevaluate her priorities, and how she's using Cocoon to bring her family closer together.

Alicia

"I'm obviously not a psychic," said Alicia about the timing of her new business. Four months after her physical therapy practice opened, COVID19 hit the US. The pandemic created enormous challenges for businesses, especially if your business involves physical contact with clients. You might expect someone in Alicia's shoes to bury themselves in distractions until normal life returned, but that isn't what she did. Instead, Alicia treated the pandemic as an opportunity to reevaluate what was important to her.

She pulled back from social media almost entirely and focused on her family, both immediate (Alicia is married with two young sons) and extended. Even before the pandemic, she had been distancing herself from social media, but things came to a head on the night of the presidential election. She opened the Facebook app and was overwhelmed by the toxicity she saw there.

"I was like, 'Okay, I'm done. I can't do this anymore,' and I just deleted all my apps. I don't miss it. I feel like a much happier human being now."
Alicia and her family at an Arizona Wildcats game

She started making more time for her relatives, even though she couldn't be with them in person. That's where Cocoon came into play.

Alicia had discovered Cocoon in December when we were featured on the Today Show. She immediately downloaded the app and started a Cocoon with her family (we had to increase the member cap to fit them all!).

"When I first saw Cocoon on the Today Show, it really struck me, like, 'Yes, I need a way to connect with friends and family outside of social media.'"

For Alicia's side of the family, it was more about bringing the closeness they already had into the digital world. They've always been close— many of them live less than a mile away from her! Her family now uses Cocoon to share little glimpses of their days with each other. For example, Alicia's son has the adorable habit of napping in unusual places, and Alicia created a thread in Cocoon where she posts photos of the latest spot.

After getting her own family set up, she took on the more ambitious project of creating a Cocoon for her husband's side of the family. They live further away, and the distance has kept them from bonding as much as she would like. She told us that Cocoon gave her a "natural way to progress into that closeness", unlike a group chat. Now when she shares something, her mother-in-law always responds immediately.

Alicia shared a snapshot of her Cocoon with us

We were really inspired by Alicia's proactive approach to family. If every family had an Alicia, we'd all be much closer!