After our assigned reading on the attraction of nostalgia, I decided to do a little further digging into Timehop. I have the app, I love it. But then again, I’m one of those people the article referred to who easily get a kick out of old photos. I’m also one of those people who ritually checks the app every single day (even if I forget, the app sends me a notification that I haven’t yet checked today’s posts). And on that note, I definitely do not check the New York Times or USA Today on a daily basis. Timehop’s co-founder proudly states that of Timehop’s 14 million users, about half of them check the app every day – resulting in more people than the number who read the New York Times every day.
This got me thinking, does our society really value old memories over current news? What prompts us to open an app of old photos rather than a news source, often containing photos itself? It all goes back to what the article said: nostalgia has made a comeback.
Although I have only been a Timehop user for a few years now, and don’t have all of my social media accounts synced to the app, I get genuinely excited at the prospect of finding an old photo from more than just a few years ago. Now we can only go back so far; I haven’t had Facebook much longer than I’ve had Timehop, but the prospect of potentially still using the app in a decade makes users curious at the idea of what they will stumble upon. Although the app is just depicting moments we experienced a few years prior, it simply reminds us of the great time we had (if we hadn’t, why would we have photographed it?).
In response to the Timehop versus New York Times statistic, I would like to think that our society isn’t simply avoiding the news, but using apps like these as a distraction from it. Although it is the responsible thing to do, who wants to wake up first thing in the morning and read about the latest death toll in a war, or the latest company’s bankruptcy. We would much rather open a lighthearted memory box to start our day off on a good note. I support the millions of users who are die hard Timehop fans and hope that this app continues to be a success in the future.