Now announcing the launch of our #MyMoai feature in the Owaves app! Our team has worked tirelessly over the past two years to make this social version of Owaves a reality! We hope you enjoy the result of our labor of love! Check out the video tutorial on the feature below, brought to you by Elaine, UX Researcher at Owaves. Then, read on to learn even more about #MyMoai!
The Origins, Meaning, and Health Benefits of “Moai”
Owaves’s new social feature, #MyMoai, allows you to create your own “Moai” or social support system within the app. Where does the term “Moai” come from, you may ask?
The concept of Moai (Mo-EYE) has been embedded in Japanese culture for hundreds of years. A Moai is a support group concerning the social, financial and health facets of its members. It promotes collective and individual well-being, including mental wellness (Leonard, 2018).
In Okinawa, one of the five Blue Zones where people live significantly longer than the average person, Moai are a way of life. Many Okinawans (roughly half) are assigned to Moai as children. They continue to be part of them for their entire lives (Leonard, 2018)!
Notably, research demonstrates that positive social connections make a difference when it comes to your health and happiness. This suggests that Okinawans’ longevity might at least be partially attributed to their Moai. Namely, when you are connected to people who live according to similar values, practice the same healthy habits, and share comparable goals, you undergo less stress, are happier, and live longer (Leonard, 2018). When it comes to stress specifically, when you have social support, you experience a less adverse stress response to strenuous events (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, Baker, Harris, & Stephenson, 2015).
The WHAT and HOW Behind My Moai
My Moai places community at the core of day planning. Not only can you continue to plan your day in Owaves, but you can also now sync with friends!
To get started exploring the My Moai feature, first, download the Owaves app! If you already have Owaves and your iOS settings allow for automatic updates, your Owaves app should have already automatically updated to include My Moai. If you do not have automatic updates set up or are unsure, visit the App Store. Then, click on your profile picture on the top right. Scroll down to the Owaves app, check to see if there are any updates required, and if so, update your app.
Once you get on My Moai, make an account. Next, have your friends download the app and create their own accounts. Then, send your friends requests to sync. Once they accept your requests, you can then view their day plans, and they can see yours in return!
Plan Your Day in an Inspired Way
“My Clock” Section
To plan your day, visit the “My Clock” section. Here, your day is shaped in a circular O to resemble a clock. In this section, add color-coded activities to your “O,” corresponding emojis (and photos, if you wish) for every activity, and a center “O” photo. Keep the “Precision Titles” for your activities that Owaves automatically assigns to certain emojis, or add your own personalized titles with the help of the “Edit” button in the upper right corner. Get creative with day planning, and inspire your Moai in turn!
“My Moai” Feed
On your “My Moai” feed, you can see each of your friends’ profile pictures, names, locations, current activities, current times, and how much time they have left of their current activities (represented by how far the ring or “O” around their profile photo is filled in). As a result, My Moai is similar to a “World Clock” but for humans–it is our Community Clock!
Click on the water drop to the right of your friends’ names to show them support as they carry out their daily activities. This water drop is equivalent to a “like.” It signifies you are watering your friends with encouragement as they aim to regularly plan their day, incorporate a solid balance of the eight Owaves activity categories (Love, Move, Work, Eat, Sleep, Relax, Play and Flow) within it, and grow in their health.
Click on any of your friends on your My Moai feed to view their full routine for the day. Swipe left or right to see their day plans for upcoming and past days. Get inspired by how members of your Moai balance their days and make use of their time!
Perhaps you see that your friend Julia is journaling just before she goes to bed each night, your friend Gordon enjoys game nights on Friday with his family, and your cousin Cassie eats a salad on weekday afternoons. This prompts you to incorporate these activities in your own routine to boost your well-being. My Moai is an endless source of inspiration, and an innovative instrument for gaining accountability with your health!
Also, gain inspiration from the way your social circle creatively tells the story of their routines with the activity categories and emojis they select and the activity titles they compose. My Moai demonstrates that planning your day can be fun, imaginative, and collaborative!
Keep Tabs on Your Stats
Regularly check out your day planning streak and stats by looking at the numbers next to the seeds, water drops, and sun emojis underneath your profile picture. Click on your profile picture in the upper left corner to open the menu with these stats. First, the number next to the seeds represents the total number of activities you’ve planned. Second, the number near the water drops signifies the total number of “likes” your Moai has given you on your activities. Third, the number close to the sun stands for the number of days that you’ve consecutively planned your day. The purpose of this data is to encourage you to stay consistent and be detailed with your day planning.
The WHY Behind My Moai
Our goal in building My Moai is to optimize your wellness by elevating Owaves from a solo day planning experience to a virtual day planning community. We want you to be able to gain support and accountability as you schedule your days in the Owaves app, live them out, and strive toward greater health.
Because your My Moai feed gives you a 24/7 window into the habits of your loved ones and allows you to look at their past and future day plans, it is a one-of-a-kind experience. By being able to see what members of your Moai are up to at any given moment, you are more aptly able to gain accountability to keep a healthy circadian rhythm and balance of activities in your life.
For example, you may procrastinate bed time as a night owl. Yet, you then go into the app and see that all of your friends are sleeping by a certain time. Thus, you decide that you should call it a night, too. Additionally, you may find that your O has a lot of “Work” planned on it compared to your peers’ Os. Thus, you realize that you should swap out some of that work time for Exercise, Play, or Flow (free time).
Deriving inspiration from Moai in Japan, and the wellness and longevity they help bring about in their members, we sought to replicate Moais’ function on a virtual scale and apply it to day planning for health. By giving you the opportunity to harmonize your individual circadian rhythm (or peaks and troughs in the day) with the rhythms of your Moai, we hope to empower you to live a more balanced, intentional, and community-centered life.
The path toward better health is ultimately a group effort, and we invite you to participate in #MyMoai, our Community Clock! Know what your community is doing and when! Sync with friends, be inspired, get accountable. Have fun, and happy planning!
Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T.B., Baker, M., Harris, T. & Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691614568352
Leonard, A. (2018, August). Moai–This tradition is why Okinawan people live longer, better. Blue Zones. https://www.bluezones.com/2018/08/moai-this-tradition-is-why-okinawan-people-live-longer-better/
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