As the digital age continues to take over our everyday lives, we must stay in tune with reality and connect as a community. Tech founder and CEO of Squad, Isa Watson is helping drive this initiative by pushing professionals in the tech industry to connect online as well as offline in a notable way.

Watson has devoted her time to building a culture within tech through her app, Squad, a highly-functioning connective app that allows young tech professionals to network and better connect with their peers in real life. In this day and age where people feel more connected to those while online, Watson and her app are helping to bridge the gap between technology and humanity.

“We’ve been so complacent in the way that we connect on social media. But those connections are very loose. And quite frankly, when you look at the increase in social media use it’s actually parallel with the increase in loneliness, depression, social isolation, and especially in the millennial and Gen Z generations,” said Watson to Black Enterprise.

Watson is determined to help alleviate these high levels of depression in young people by encouraging professionals to build a community outside the walls of social media.

What’s genius about Squad is that it’s capitalizing on the technology we use to communicate with others online, but employing it push people to make authentic, real-life connections.

“Culture is that one thing that is an authentic director. When you’re online, you have all these, like curated types of interactions, and these curated types of ways that you present yourself. But when you’re in person and you’re live, right? You’re the embodiment of your own culture and your ability to embrace it better enables your ability to connect with somebody,” said Watson.

Squad’s efforts have built up a culture that makes people more comfortable to show up to meet-ups and events, according to Watson. The way people can interact through Squad can be attributed to both artificial intelligence and cultural capacity.

“When I think about how I’m building my community and how I evolve, it boils down to my needs. Sometimes, I need those people that I don’t even talk about work with and have amazing conversations about life and ideas,” said Watson. “I need to be in community with my business partners; people who I can talk about my faith with; founder friends; and even investors. I’ve built a multi-dimensional community around me. I stand on the backs of them. They are incredibly pivotal not just to my success, but my mental health as well.”

Squad isn’t just a place for professionals to connect about work life, it’s a tool people can use to meet people from all walks of life to talk about religion, hobbies, culture and more. Watson’s passion for building up our community is an inspiring story to follow. The pure intent behind creating a healthy and supportive culture to uplift us is what we need now more than anything.