Accessing the internet is like accessing superpowers. It heightens people’s senses, makes some feel greater than the world they live in, and amplifies core emotions. Just like any superpower, some use the internet for evil while others use it for good.
Eastsider, Shelby Tinsley, adopted Spiderman’s Uncle Ben philosophy of “with great power comes great responsibility.” Tinsley has become a social media hero through the creation of her inspirational app iShallBe.
“I found social media can be negative so I wanted to create an outlet where people could be vulnerable enough to share what they are going through without feeling like they are being judged,” said Tinsley.
iShallBe is a daily motivation app that uplifts through quotes, videos, and music. Users can connect through daily affirmations.
Tinsley, founder and Southeastern High School graduate, admitted she battled with self-esteem issues growing up and it wasn’t until college that she found friends who encouraged her. However, the idea to encourage the masses did not come until she started her career.
“One day after finally getting a job, I was scrolling through my phone because I was bored and I came across some old quotes. I was like it would be cool if I could send these quotes out…It would be cool if I could create an app.”
Tinsley had no tech background or references, so the idea to create an app was ambitious to say the least. When most would test out branding waters on an already established platform, Tinsley dove into the deep end.
“If I wasn’t being too much of an overachiever, I would have started out with just a website or text messages to get the following up. I shot for the stars. I was like I want to do an app and I am going to do whatever it takes to get there.”
When brainstorming names, Tinsley reflected on her relationship with her aunt.
“My aunt actually named me and when she named me [Shelby] she said ‘she shall be whatever she puts her mind to.’ So I thought of iShallBe.”
Since its creation in 2017, iShallBe has reached an international audience. It has users in the UK, South Africa, and Nigeria. Tinsley never foresaw the global impact her app would have.
“You just never know how your words could be so encouraging not only to the person next to you, but to someone who may not even speak the same language as you.”
As for the impact of COVID-19, iShallBe has seen a 65 percent increase in users. Tinsley credits the spike to an increase desire for motivation and positivity during this time.
Despite recent triumphs, Tinsley is still occasionally critical of herself.
“Sometimes I do get defeated and I think oh my goodness; I haven’t reached this many downloads. I haven’t reached this many followers,” said Tinsley who adds reassurance is usually not far behind. “As soon as I have that idea in my head someone writes me and says I’m so happy you created this app.”
So what sets iShallBe apart?
“We focus on coming up with various content that caters for our audience. A lot of the content you see, you can’t find those videos anywhere else. YouTube may collect certain videos and put them in a category. For iShallBe I go out. I find people to interview, we edit them, and put them out,” said Tinsley.
The app strongly emphasizes positive affirmations, a lesson Tinsley learned through lived experience.
“Going through life, one thing I noticed is that I had to be mindful of the words I spoke out loud. When things weren’t working out for me, and I was saying things like my life is over I realized I was projecting those things into the universe.”
If you would like to begin projecting more positivity, iShallBe is available for download for free in the App Store and Google Play.