Ziarekenya Smith, 28, born and raised in Detroit, MI has extensive experience in digital arts that goes all the way back to his childhood. According to Ziarekenya, he was an average student in high school, but once he got into college, everything changed! In 2014, Ziarekenya graduated from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL with a Bachelors in Digital Arts and Science.
Ziarekenya is a 4x Adobe Achievement Award recipient. His work has been featured on heavy hitting media platforms such as Slam Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Mayweather Promotions, Complex, Nice Kicks, Yahoo Sports, Bleacher Report, HYPEBEAST, Finish Line, Full Sail University’s Blog and the list goes on!
In April 2019, Ziarekenya decided to pause his work as a visual artist to launch Inpathy, which has gained much notoriety in the mental health app industry.
What is Inpathy?
1 Inpathy is a stigma-free social ecosystem where users express their emotions and share stories [with other users] to show that you are not alone. With built-in Emotional Intelligence, Inpathy adapts to support your well-being.
Inpathy was born with the realization that there were not many safe places for people to express themselves— places free of judgment or shame. So we created a stigma-free ecosystem where people can ﬁnally express unﬁltered emotions.
We want the world to see the beauty of being human; to see that we are not alone, and are connected through our emotions and stories. We want Inpathy to be the community where you can have those deeper conversations you might ﬁnd diﬃcult to have in person.
In equal measure, Inpathy has been designed to be a friend who cares about your well-being. Through Inpathy, we aim to recreate some of those human interactions. We’re driven by communication, transparency, and respect—elements we feel are lacking from most human interaction nowadays.
Authenticity and integrity are quickly sacrificed in modern society as materialistic and enhanced truths fill our social media feeds daily. And in many cases, this data has tampered with people’s perceptions of how they should live or feel. We want to alleviate that constant pressure of having to conform to what we are exposed to.
Millions of people go through very similar situations as you—both good and bad. But we tend to get fed illusions on other platforms, while the real parts get edited out. We want people to speak on the unspoken—that it’s okay to not feel okay. We want our users to know that feeling is simply a part of the universal human experience. Inpathy is more than an app, it is how we envision our future. You can see an example of that here.
What inspired you to start Inpathy?
Inpathy isn’t an idea, Inpathy it’s a vision that was built from hurt, pain and feeling a lack of empathy from my family during a rough period in my life. This vision was crafted together for 4 years to the purest essence of what Inpathy really is.
What’s Inpathy Purpose?
To show People it’s Okay to be Human. We want to reveal how deeply humans are connected through our emotions and stories. I speak on it more here.
What is the problem you’re aiming to solve?
We’re the most connected generation in history, but the most disconnected humanly and emotionally –and this is only increasing. RSPH says, “Anxiety and depression in young adults have risen 70% in the past 25 years”. Social media use is linked to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
Roughly 50% of all Americans can’t aﬀord mental health treatment, even if they have insurance. About 37% percent of Americans who should have received treatment believe that it wouldn’t even help them. We believe Inpathy is another way, a better way, a more significant way, a diﬀerent way to end this deadly silence.
Did you have a team help you build Inpathy?
No, I developed, designed, prototyped, animated, and did all the branding & marketing material myself. The most help I’ve gotten is feedback from multiple friends, family and associates.
Is Inpathy Free?
Yes, Inpathy is a free platform!
Will Inpathy make people happy?
Inpathy is not about creating happiness, it’s about acceptance. We aim to build a community where people understand that high and low emotions are simply part of the human experience. We want people to embrace that it’s [emotions] natural. We want others to understand it isn’t about being happy all the time. It is about accepting how you feel and having the ability to move forward. You can see an example of that right here.
Does Inpathy have emotional intelligence?
Inpathy has a similar presence to Siri or Alexa, except she is not an assistant. Inpathy is designed to be a friend who cares about your wellbeing. Over time, she will adapt to support your wellbeing. You can see an example of that right here.
Inpathy will check in on people every day?
Yes, Inpathy will check in on you 3 times a day Morning, Afternoon and Evening. You can see an example of that right here.
How do people get the most out of my Inpathy experience?
It starts by having genuine conversations with others. Share authentic stories. Be open and supportive, and you will have an amazing time on Inpathy. To get the most out of inpathy, stay up-to-date with your Inpathy check-ins. You can see an example of that right here.
How to make friends on Inpathy?
Following or adding friends is obsolete in Inpathy. Connecting with others is simple. You can comment on stories or message people who empathize with you or oﬀer your insight, support, etc. Those you interact with will be in your circle. You can see an example of that right here.
Will Inpathy oﬀer emotional health support?
In future updates, Inpathy will be able to oﬀer personalized suggestions on how to achieve emotional wellness. However, always consult a doctor or therapist if you’re having thoughts of self-harm or harm to others.
How does Inpathy deal with trolls & and online bullying?
There is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to trolls. Sharing real emotions and stories are already a sensitive matter, and the presence of trolls can hinder a person’s ability to fully express themselves. Inpathy is very secure. Our platform allows users to easily report people who violate our terms. Those who violate our terms and conditions are banned, permanently.
Will people be able to private message each other on Inpathy?
Yes, messages are kept between you and the user you are writing. However, for your own safety, Inpathy will monitor your messages to make sure no one is taking advantage of anyone, especially when a person is at their lowest.
Will peoples stories be safe on Inpathy?
Rest assured that your stories will forever remain exclusively inside Inpathy and cannot be shared on other social platforms, screenshotted, or recorded. Inpathy is DRM protected. Only Inpathy members will have access to the stories you share.
All what you said sounds great. But how do you plan to normalize emotions & stories and getting people to open up and shared their highs and lows?
We broke down Inpathy in tiers. You will have your tiers 1,2 and 3, representing diﬀerent kinds of people. Tier 1 will be social inﬂuencers, celebrities, and those who don’t mind sharing. They will be the ones to open up about their highs and lows, most of them are already doing it now because we are slowly shifting into this transparent and more accepting society.
They [tier 1 people] will share on Inpathy, and like always, most of them will have a high engagement rate and positive feedback because people can relate to people who are authentic and share their highs and lows.
Then you have Tier 2, and those are the ones who will be on the fence about opening up. But guess what? Tier 2 will see Tier 1 getting all this engagement and positivity and Tier 2 will say – Hey, I have stories and emotions to share, I’m about to share mine as well.
Then you will have Tier 3. Those are the ones who’d rather take their stories to the grave. But once they see Tiers 1 and 2 getting all this love and support, they will eventually be like what the hell, I am joining in as well. So it will be a domino eﬀect when it gets rolling–it’s just that simple.
What is the goal for Inpathy starting oﬀ?
To bring balance to the social network ecosystem, because it’s oﬀ balanced. What I mean is that Facebook is for connecting with friends, Instagram is for sharing photos, Snapchat is for moments, YouTube is for TV, Linkedin is for networking, Tinder is for dating. Now, where do you go to share your highs and lows on a mainstream level on social network, where it’s a judge-free zone, and there is no stigma attached to it? Nowhere. At this moment, it’s a huge void.
We don’t want Inpathy just to be another platform. We want Inpathy to be mainstream to the point it’s accepted all around the world. Because our mindset at Inpathy is If Airbnb can normalize strangers staying in people homes. Inpathy can normalize sharing your emotions & stories across the world to show you are not alone.
When is Inpathy’s App coming out?
That’s classiﬁed information! We will reveal more details when we oﬃcially announce that Inpathy has hit 30K followers on Facebook.
How can people help with the growth of Inpathy?
If you believe what we believe, that it’s okay to be okay, and it’s okay not to be okay, it’s all a part of the human experience. Follow us, and let’s change the world together.
We soft announced Inpathy to the world on April 29, 2019. In one month, we have 8,800 people across the globe so far embarking with us on our journey to change the world.
People can follow and sign up for Inpathy on Facebook. You can invite and share the Inpathy video with your friends and help spread the movement about Inpathy. If you don’t have Facebook, you can follow us on Instagram. We have weekly updates where we reveal and show the progress of Inpathy.