SoShell was a semester-long project that accompanied a course on Personal Informatics. We set out to create a pervasive application that would improve people's interaction with social media. At first, like many others we decided on a "productivity app" that would manage one's time when engaging with social media. However, we wanted to explore a new way to increase mood and productivity without simply restricting one's usage of social media.


Despite connecting people in ways never thought possible, social media platforms have a bad reputation of being "time wasters". Studies also have shown that increased usage of social media platforms like Facebook can lead to negative emotions. However, the SoShell team wanted to create an application that would improve mood and productivity without having to give up being connected to the rest of the world.

While conducting some additional research, we quickly we identified that the problem did not lie within a user's time spent with these platforms but rather the quality of their engagement. (CMU Study)

Over the months, we designed an application through user research and rapid iteration with the goal of making people happier without giving up what they enjoy about social media. Our final presentation was in the form of a Product Page, somewhat akin to a Kickstarter campaign where we promote and educate potential users about the benefits of SoShell!


  • Product Design/Management

  • User Research


SoShell, social media management system that will increase your productivity and mood! Download this application to take control of your social media usage.


A 2010 study at Carnegie Mellon University found that Facebook users who passively consumed a content using Newsfeed had lower feelings of connection and increased sense of loneliness when compared to users who engaged with Facebook  actively.

In this study, “Active” use meant things like sharing content, commenting, messaging, or “liking” something. Multiple studies have been done in a similar fashion on this same topic with some even using facial electromyography to study participants’ emotions. All studies point to the same conclusion - when users are actively engaged with social media, their feelings of connectedness increase and feelings of loneliness are decreased.

What we collect and show you:

  • Your interactions per login

  • Active/passive use over time

  • Your self-reported emotions to compare to your active/passive use over time

  • Suggestions on actively engaging with social media based on your usage history and other metrics


How we motivate you (gamification):

  • We gently bring to your attention your actions on social media

  • We provide detailed directions for you and give you suggestions on how to be more engaged and mindful, based on your current and historic behavior data

  • We show you change over time in order to sustain motivation and encourage you to continue being mindful in your usage

  • We provide you with badges to show your progress and give you challenges to increase your engagement on social media

  • We help you stay engaged by making social media use fun and dynamic

How we show you meaningful data

  • SoShell explores different and creative ways to visualize usage data, with Sheldon the turtle

  • Water droplets represent interactions per login - making Sheldon happier

  • Your emotions are reflected in Sheldon’s face and collected over time to show you the changes based on your social media usage

  • When you drill down to individual social media accounts, we tell you what content typically keeps you and your audience engaged


How will this SoShell your life?

By gently bringing your attention to how you interact with social media, SoShell gives you the control you need to be mindful of your online behavior without restricting your usage. SoShell knows social media is a huge part of our everyday lives. It alone has changed our lives considerably in the past decade - both positively and negatively. Using SoShell’s unique insights we believe we can help you to make a positive impact on your social media behaviors.