By Gina Waldhorn, Evol8tion Co-Founder
From my previous posts, you’ll know I’m a big believer in people making an effort to be more present. I’ve found that giving my full attention over to the meeting or meal I’m involved in results in a more productive encounter for myself and those around me. This may mean that you believe the time in between these social sessions can be completely surrendered to your many feeds or building your Candy Crush empire. For example, why pay attention to what’s going on around you during your subway ride? This is your time to relax and mindlessly surf the world wide web, right?
WRONG. LOOK UP.
Can’t you feel the burn? The burn of my laser eyes which are screaming, melting through your phone to deliver my message: I’m 8 months pregnant, my feet are two hams stuffed in matchboxes, and I can smell every sketchy scent on this train car as if it was piped directly into my nostrils via gas mask. Give me your seat, please.
Ok, I’m not pregnant anymore, but I was a few months ago, and most commuters who saw me happily offered up their seat. I stress who saw me because too many busy New Yorkers just couldn’t spare 20 seconds to look up. Too many selfies to like; too many emails to read.
You can imagine my delight upon reading about Babee on Board, a dual system app that helps pregnant women acquire seats on the subway. It works like this:
One app is for consumers willing to give up their seat. The other app is for pregnant women who are in need of a seat. When a pregnant woman needs a seat, she pushes out an alert and WHAMO! Multiple men stand up at once (in theory) and she has her choice of where she can rest her weary womb! I say “men” because in my experience women much more frequently offer up their seats without the need for a technological intervention. I don’t believe this is any fault of the men, but rather a 6th sense women have towards each other, especially when prenatal.
Do I expect this app to catch on and solve the problem overnight? Of course not. Developed by a UK-based creative agency, it’s actually an awareness initiative for Project Health Children, a great cause working to end micronutrient deficiencies in third world countries. With any luck, some money will be raised and a few women in London will enjoy a moment of respite on their commute, instead of their unborn being smushed into the dirty backpack of some teen bumping to Beiber.
For the rest of us, I urge you, take a moment at each stop to disconnect and be present in the physical space you inhabit as you travel to and fro. You’ll not only make a mommy’s day, but you’ll feel great about your good deed, and you didn’t need an app to tell you to do it.