Savoring moments is tougher with the thousands of distractions beaming from our phones each day. Photos, despite being at an all-time high in usage, seem to be losing a bit of meaning with the lack of weight behind them. TimeSpring, the time-released messaging, app pioneered by TimeSpring, Inc., is trying to change this. Click here to read more.
By Chris Brosley
Savoring moments is tougher with the thousands of distractions beaming from our phones each day. Photos, despite being at an all-time high in usage, seem to be losing a bit of meaning with the lack of weight behind them. TimeSpring, the time-released messaging, app pioneered by TimeSpring, Inc., is trying to change this.
Felice Bernard, founder of TimeSpring, discussed the trends in society and where TimeSpring steps in to make a shift.
“As great as technology is making our lives easier, it’s terribly, almost incurably, distracting. Wouldn’t it be nice if it could bring a family or friendship closer for the teenager that’s buried in their phone not experiencing a live music of a concert right in front of them? Interestingly enough, we have many young adults and teenagers sending messages to their future selves. Whether it’s a one year goal or a high school student sending a message to their college selves, the reason to send a TimeSpring message extends much further then generational sharing, and overall it has a way of helping you become more mindful of time, how we’re managing it, and how fast it flies.”
TimeSpring enables people to share with anyone at any age, including children, years into the future. Parents and grandparents can create accounts for children too young for email and send a photo or video with a message and have it scheduled to be delivered when the child is old enough to understand and appreciate the memory. The app allows for meaningful photos to be taken that might have an impact on someone’s life in the future, basically the opposite of the current trend in photography. Most importantly, they allow users to take pictures of videos for infants or children to view in the future.
“TimeSpring is a social platform that enables time-released messaging, so you can take a photo or video today, and schedule it to be delivered to someone at a date in the future. Why would someone want to send a future message? Well, aside from being a new, innovative way to save a memory it allows people to share with a group of people that are otherwise are very hard to communicate with or share photos and video with—and that’s children. TimeSpring allows users to send messages to children by creating accounts for them on their TimeSpring wheel and saving these messages for when the sender scheduled them to be delivered.
It’s a social sharing app that has something for every age: Parents sending children, friends, and spouses messages. We have grandparents whom are becoming increasingly more tech savvy sending messages to their grown children and grandchildren. Typically, the moment your grandma is on the same social platform as you, it sort of loses its coolness, but not so with TimeSpring, you’re going to want your grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles to be on TimeSpring. This technology also opens up the possibility for people whom are suffering from terminal illnesses to communicate and share wisdom beyond their years.”
The process behind the app is simple. Users install it, type in their email address, fill it with friends or family, and attach photos or videos for a scheduled delivery date up to 30 years into the future. If it is a child you are sending to, leave the email blank and it can be activated when they are old enough. Editing can be done at any point with profiles, e-mail addresses, and delivery dates.
The idea behind the app stemmed from Bernard and her husband’s experiences as parents. They noticed the age divide and wanted to find a way to bridge the gap with knowledge they wanted to pass down at that moment when their children became older. “The idea for TimeSpring came about very organically. When I became of mother, both my husband and myself felt this urge to share our stories, wisdom, and thoughts with our children, but at the time, they were too young, and still are. So we decided to write them letters that we imagined we’d give to them at certain ages. It was this moment when we realized that this is too hard, and there should be a better, easier, more modern way to do this, so TimeSpring was born. I quit my job as a high school English and mythology teacher and founded TimeSpring, Inc. We can’t take credit for parents wanting to pass their memories and wisdom on; parents have been doing this for centuries, but now it’s easy and we now have a way to separate those special moments from the masses of photos on our phones.
If we think about how storytelling has played a role in the human race, we’d start at the very beginning where storytelling was vital to posterity and a culture. You look at storytelling today with social sharing, photo sharing, texting, and it is still a very big part of our lives. It was only going to be a matter of time that we realized that some memories are more special than others and should be remembered and passed on.”
The overall expectation was for people to initially be weary of time-stamped futuristic messaging. Surprisingly, Bernard found people to be very receptive to the time-stamping and have even strayed towards the longer photos and videos, such as the ten-year stamp.
“What we find interesting is that when we launched we expected people to be a bit shy in how far they’d be sending a message, and this was not the case. Ten-year messages seem to be the most popular delivery date, which is pretty exciting. What we do know about younger generations is that they share differently than any other generation due to the technology in the palm of our hands. This next generation, Generation Alpha, is going to be the most photographed generation of all time, with the least amount of actual photos in hand. When I was a child and feeling nostalgic, I simply grabbed the photo album that my mom made me, and looked through pictures of family vacations, birthday, etc. If I tried to do that for all of my kids, it would be a full-time job of printing and organizing, not hundreds, but thousands of photos and memories; and they would probably wallpaper my house two times. So in five years when my son is ten, how is he going to enjoy the pictures from his 5th birthday? Will I hand him a thumb drive? Or will I just hand him my phone and tell him to scroll back a thousand photos? Our culture has clearly changed in how we capture and share our lives. Not every memory can be saved in a meaningful way, but for the memories that truly are special, we’ll have TimeSpring.”
For Bernard and her team, she sees TimeSpring being a valuable part of people’s lives in the next five to ten years. The intimate connection that the app provides users with will continue to help celebrate the important moments in life. TimeSpring answers that age old question of where time went.
“We see future messaging with TimeSpring being as common place was checking your social accounts or sending and receiving an e-mail. What we are already seeing is a change in how parents are capturing their photos and video for TimeSpring. When you know that you’re taking a video for TimeSpring, or for a child, for instance, you can talk directly to them as if they’re adults. You can explain things, you can show them their childhood through your lens.
Also in five to ten years, our currently inactive child accounts will be activated, and these lucky recipients will have messages that have been waiting for them that will arrive at all special times in their lives whether it be a birthday or a regular day; they will know that someone was thinking of them.
It’s quite remarkable how time appreciates that value of our memories. You look back on a photo from five years ago, and we pause and say, “Where did the time go?” This is only magnified when you witness how fast children grow. What makes TimeSpring so special is adding time to the equation. Even an everyday memory like your Dad taking a video of you brushing your teeth before bed, sent with a note, and scheduled ten years forward, upon receipt, that memory has value, and if that father is no longer alive, well then, that message is now priceless.”