The idea of nostalgia used to mean having a fond remembrance for an era or moment long passed. But with real-time onslaught of digital media today, the pace of nostalgia has been greatly accelerated. It figures, then, that a number of new apps have emerged to aid users in their virtual strolls down memory lane.
Friday: Mobile phones serve not only as communication tools but also as digital journals. They’re used to record who one knows, where one goes and what activities one pursues. Building on the idea that phones are an extension of their users’ lives, Friday is an automated journal that is intended to “augment human memory.” The Android app acts almost like a personal assistant, aggregating and indexing available data streams (calls, text messages, emails, music, calendar events, location, photos) into a personal mobile search engine that can be used to recall specific details of a singular moment in time. It could be the perfect solution for Boomers plagued by frequent “senior moments.
Social Memories: For some, Facebook is a voyeuristic window into the lives of strangers; for others, it’s as a reality show in which they’re the star. Seemingly created with the latter group in mind, Social Memories is a Facebook app that uses a person’s profile data to generate a beautiful book of personal infographics. Among the subjects included are status versus response ratio, events attended, and weekly activity statistics. Facebook infographics may, in fact, be a developing trend, as the site recently hired the founders of Daytum. With infographics having become a powerful form of link bait, the social networking giant’s plans for utilizing these graphic design talents remain a question of great curiosity.
The Museum of Me: One of the newest online museumsis not a showcase for the next Cory Arcangel, but rather…you. Created by Intel as a promotion for its Core i5 processor, Museum of Me is an app that, after connecting with users’ Facebook pages, takes them on a video tour through a “visual archive of [their] social life.” The first room houses one’s friends; the second, one’s photos; the next, places one has visited; and so on. As if seeing your life on display wasn’t sufficiently hair-raising enough, random “visitors” staring at your artifacts are included in the movie clip, making some feel as if it’s a rather morbid memorial tribute staged after their death.