Yup, we’re all still resisting. And as our needs become more and more evident, app developers are helping us all out. I got wise to three new ones this week and I’d like to pass on the knowledge to you.
Nudge for Change
Sometimes I feel like I’m the closest thing to a capitalist we have at Autostraddle, and this app was MADE for my belief system. Nudge for Change alerts you when you’re walking into a business with questionable policies based on things you care about, and suggests nearby businesses that are similar who have better records on anything from worker’s rights to gay rights. As more and more people make decisions on where to spend money based on how that business moves and operates in a human world, it will become profitable to behave in a more human and humane way, is the ethos of the app. This app is pretty cool and is pretty realistic about a capitalist moral code being tied expressly to money. The only sort of negative thing I’ll say about it—at the beginning, Nudge has you swipe left or right about issues you care about. Well I cared about all of them. Impossible to pick between the environment and women’s rights. So I elected to be alerted about all the issues Nudge tracks. I guess that’s not a bad thing? But it does make for a lot more notifications. If you’re wondering how businesses are ranked on a variety of issues, Nudge for Change elaborates a ton on their research and scoring practices. In a nutshell, if there’s not enough to rank a business based on a category, no score is assigned. And if a company changes? Well:
Similarly, if a company takes note of the fact that their negative scores are nudging away business, works to improve in those areas, then notifies us of the change, those new actions will be recognized in the app. After we have officially verified all reported new, positive actions, we adjust scores accordingly.
However, we do our best to only reward real, actionable change with quantifiable effects. We prioritize hard data and official recognition from third-party sources that are not part of a company’s public relations department.
Nudge for Change is free for iOS and is coming soon to Android.
Stance allows you to record a message for your representative (United States Senate or House) and send it along without spending your entire lunch break calling Chuck Schumer. I’m sorry, did I say Chuck Schumer? I meant your Representative. But y’all, I have spent my entire lunch break calling Chuck Schumer and when that didn’t work, I used the internet to fax him. While his lines are open a lot more often now, that’s where I see this app coming in handy: during those times in which getting through to your representative feels impossible. I was skeptical about Stance at first—do our representatives really listen to these messages? So I checked with a policy expert in DC. A lot of times, representatives will make calls based on how much effort you go through to get your point across, so use Stance only when a real actual phone call just isn’t working out. Because, even when you don’t, Stance has the time to do this:
If your member of congress’s voicemail is full, we’ll keep calling day after day until it’s available. We are also looking into launching a tracker to provide transparency into the voicemail status of every member of congress.
Sometimes I, too, fall into the trap of thinking that everyone using technology today has a smartphone. That is simply not the case. Resistbot makes contacting your U.S. Senators quickly and easily via technology accessible because you don’t need an app or a smartphone to use it. To get started, you simply text “RESIST” to 50409. Resistbot will ask you a few questions to match you up with your Senators. It starts with just Senators, but as you use it more, other features unlock. In that way, it’s really good for people who are just starting out with civic engagement (welcome!). Once again, Senators give more weight to people who make a bunch of effort, but sometimes there’s no getting through. And you know what? Sometimes you have a life, and something is better than nothing. Resistbot can help you get through to a rep fast without using your voice to speak into a phone if that gives you anxiety. And they’ve got an FAQ, which is handy if you’ve never used a bot before and you’re not sure how to text it commands. If you’d rather use the bot via Facebook messenger, just head to Resistbot’s website and hit the blue “message” button. It’s free for all users.