The Driving Force

I spend a lot of time thinking about how my feelings are part of my daily life. I spend equally as much time wondering how others whom I care about also feel.

We’re emotional beings and we all have feelings. But I think a lot of people go through their daily lives wearing a series of masks. We rarely project our feelings to the outside world, instead choosing to keep a straight face, or at best, a polite smile.

When I browse Shots, I imagine how each person is feeling. Sometimes I even wonder about their lives. Are they having a good day, a bad day, are they feeling sad, excited, nervous? Are people picking on them, are they feeling supported, do they have mentors and a support structure that makes them feel nurtured?

I feel a certain connection to each of them without having to say a word. It’s unspoken — and this is why my brother Sam and I built Shots. We both seek genuine connections with other people. We like to relate to others and we wanted to create something that helps others relate, to connect without words.

No matter how I’m feeling, I can open up Shots, scroll through all of these incredibly expressive faces, and see how others are feeling. Their state of mind is usually written all over their faces. In the moment, I’ll relate to some of their moods, while others less so. Either way, Shots gives me a way to connect with each of them. It lets me see beyond one’s stoic public mask in a real and authentic way.

Your social status doesn’t matter inside Shots. It’s about expressing your feelings in a picture, which is why we don’t allow comments. We never want our users hurt, harmed or bullied by what they read about themselves on social media — it’s about signaling what you’re feeling inside. The world is getting more and more troubled, and as it does, a sense of connection and support can help us.

Shots is about how you feel and how others may be feeling. This doesn’t require words, just real connection.

I hope you see what I see.

-John Shahidi