After quitting her job as a high school English teacher in Oakland, Bernard starting perfecting her idea for the app that would become TimeSpring, a social platform that connects generations. “It enables time-released messaging,” Bernard says, “so parents and grandparents can send, for example, a toddler a message with a photo, and date it to be scheduled in the future.”
Here’s how it works: Download the app and select the recipients to receive your photo or video. Friends and family will receive an invitation via email to join TimeSpring and accept messages from you. You write a message and attach the photo or video. Then, you schedule the message to be delivered on a select day.
Photo messaging is free; one-time video messaging is .99 cents per message; and unlimited photos and video messaging is $29.99 a year.
The mother of three “envisioned the app to be a symbolic representation of our ‘inner circle,’ and our core group of family and friends,” she says. “Above all, I wanted it to be family-centric, and I do feel that the design of the app certainly reflects this vision. What I could have never imagined, however, is how good it feels to send a message. When I send it in TimeSpring, I know that a part of that memory is living on, and it’s sort of a relief.”
How it makes our lives easier: Think about all the photos and videos taking up storage on your phone right now. “My 5-year-old will have 10,000 pictures to scroll through if he wants to see what he was for Halloween in 2017,” Bernard says. “When we were feeling nostalgic, we’d take out a photo album that our mom made me, and tell the stories behind the photos. I want to share the stories behind the photos I’m taking too, it just makes it more challenging when I’m hoarding it all on my phone. Although it’s wonderful that we can capture these moments, if the kids don’t have a way to see them or own them then it’s sort of an exercise of futility.”
One of the most notable benefits of the TimeSpring app is connecting people after death. “Consider the people who are suffering from terminal illness, with their minds intact,” Bernard says, “they can leave their legacy too.”
But Bernard’s favorite aspect to TimeSpring is being able to write her kids a note on the app after a long, crazy day. She will attach a photo or video — “sometimes, it’s not the big events or the parties, a lot of times it’s the everyday moments, the ones that I know I’m sorely going to miss” — and hits send. “I feel a relief that somehow I documented this, and it’s like I’m giving myself the freedom to forget,” she says. “I so desperately want to enjoy this time with them at this age, and in some way it makes me feel like I’m a step ahead of time for once.”