So much can change in a year, but it’s often hard to remember exactly what I was doing one year ago today. If only there was a way to travel back in time to see what I was working on, what I was interested in, who I was talking to, or even where I was going. Well, thanks to Timehop, I can now retrace my steps from one year ago, using my digital, social media footprint.
Timehop delivers a daily email to subscribers, showing a kind of personalized time capsule of Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Foursquare check-ins, and Instagram photos. Originally comprised of several different sites, including 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo, And7YearsAgram, and PastPosts, Timehop relaunched in December to deliver a more uniform experience and has already signed on thousands upon thousands of users.
Unlike Facebook’s new timeline feature that shows a more public display of your online activity, Timehop is more private since emails are only sent directly to subscribers. Any further public sharing is completely up to the user, but there have already been several shared examples of how powerful this service can be, including a soon-to-be father remembering feeling his baby kick for the first time and a recent college graduate remembering successfully landing a job.
The service is being touted for bringing an emotional, nostalgic component to social networking sites, giving users a way to reconnect with past memories and experiences. In addition to this sentimental element, however, Timehop may also be a helpful tool to revamp users’ social media sharing practices. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and many often wish we had the same advantages in the present. With Timehop, users can look back and maybe re-evaluate whether or not sharing certain information was a wise decision. This can help keep their public updates both relevant and safe, as privacy always seems to be a looming concern as we share more and more of our personal lives online.
In an age when instantaneous, real-time updates are increasingly pervasive, Timehop gives users a chance to reflect and take a more of an introspective approach to their daily lives – something I think we could all benefit from in today’s fast-paced world. What were you doing one year ago today?