WanaBuddy was born from personal experience;
At some level, most addicts don't want to be addicts. But for deep psychological reasons it can feel impossibly difficult to 'just quit'.
No matter how many tools, strategies and support networks we learn and build, there are times when we open our laptops or turn on our phones and... in that moment, we have already lost the fight.
Sure, we could theoretically reach out for support. But as every addict knows, the shame, guilt, despair (and sometimes just the time of night) means we simply cannot.
What we really need is a buddy to step in on our behalf and catch us in that moment. And we need them right there and then.
We need someone to have our backs. Someone who gets it. Someone who can help us make a different choice with kindness and compassion. Someone who will not judge us or make the shame worse.
WanaBuddy is that someone.
It may not be a person, but it was born from personal experience, and it will be there in those moments, proactively helping make a different choice. It is a hand reached out in support to fellow addicts.
We get it. We've got your back, in the moments when you need it the most.
Our first supported addiction is:
We plan to expand to gambling, social media, news and gaming.
Our goal is to make it as seamless as possible for WanaBuddy to be part of the user's internet experience.
We need to present options in the moment of temptation. Given the privacy controls and protections that user's enjoy today, this will have to be opt-in. Users will likely need to install or configure the appropriate WanaBuddy products, depending on their usage patterns.
Our top targets are:
We also intend to support iOS and Android apps
The aim is to identify the exact moment when a user starts an addictive 'session' and proactively engage them with a 'buddy' approach. At the very least, we can offer therapeutically-informed, non-coercive alternatives.
The user can choose an alternative, or choose to continue with their addiction. Our goal is to be a buddy, not a 'hard' block. Addicts know how to work around such blockers and they don't help in the long-term.
Our priority is to be a therapeutically helpful ally. We are always on the side of the addict, working with them, not against them.
WanaBuddy is currently in the prototyping stage.
That means we are actively working on the first version of the targets listed above.
If you would like to help test or develop the apps, do get in touch.
We actively seek to expand our providers of alternatives for addicts. This could include:
We are always interested in exploring partnerships with charities, funding entities, and government bodies who are seeking to make a tangible difference to a large number of users.
WanaBuddy is interested in working with technology partners to expand our ability and expertise in meeting addicts at their point of need.
We are particularly interested in collaborations with:
If you are interested in discussing possible partnerships, please do say hello.
We are particularly interested in people with the following skillsets:
If you would like to know more, send a message.
Alastair has been developing software for over 15 years and is just completing his training as a psychotherapist.
He is as old as one can be to have the experience of growing up with the internet in the bedroom as a teenager.
As a result, he has battled with porn as a high-functioning addict all his adult life, and suffered the impacts.
With the support and love of good friends, family and his partner, he has overcome his addictions and knows it is possible, though hard.
WanaBuddy is Alastair's soul-calling. His mission: to help his fellow addicts in those dark moments he knows so well - wishing something like this had been there for him.