If we asked you what you did in 2017, you could probably reel off a few details about a holiday or two, a new job or the arrival of a little one in the family – the big things.
But how about what you got up to that second Thursday in June, or that rainy Monday last month? It’s then that things quickly become less memorable. In 2018, that needn’t be the case. You just need to take a single, solitary second.
That’s all you need to create a memory. Cram together a bunch of these seconds, and you’ve quickly got many memories. Memories that, albeit brief, trigger bigger ones that can last a lifetime. And that’s the thinking behind 7 Second Everyday, an app born from a very personal need.
I’ve had this lifelong frustration with my memory,” 7 Second Everyday founder, Cesar Kuriyama, tells us. When I started, I was about to turn 30 and my life at 20 was already a bit of a blur. The further back I tried to think about, the more difficult it was to remember what my day-to-day life was like at that time. I didn’t want to turn 40 one day and only kind of remember this year.”
His solution? He started filming a second of his life, daily. Having received praise from the likes of Al Gore and Bill Gates following a 2012 TED talk, Kurityama decided to turn this passion project into something anyone could do and spent a couple of years turning it into an app.
Now, although your own daily video feed is fun to look back on and easy to create – just slide and snip the memory-inducing second from the videos and Live Photos pulled in from your iPhone’s gallery – the app’s doing more than simply sparking memories.
“The first year, I missed two days,” Kuriyama explains. ”I had just sat around on Faoebook and done nothing. It was a very eye-opening moment. I realised I was in a routine doing the same things every day without thinking.”
That experience tugged me along to try make every day notable in some way. You don’t need to have the best day ever, every single day, but sometimes there are very small things you can do to make a day that might be uneventful, stand out.”
If I’m a bit hesitant to do something, the need to record a moment to remember that day by gives me the motivation to push me out of the door. Previously I would have been more likely to say ‘I don’t feel like going, I’m just going to stay home and watch Netflix’ or ’ah, I’ll do it another time’.”
While sparking memories is nice, and creating new ones even nicer, 7 Second Everyday can serve a more profound, helpful purpose, too.
Over the past five years, there have been a lot of downs and a lot of bad things that have happened with family and friends,” Kuriyama candidly explains. ”Watching a video like this where you have these ups and downs really helps you when you’re going through a down time.”
You have a better perspective of watching yourself getting out of these bad times in your life and how things do get better. That’s one of the things I’m most grateful about with this project.”
It’s not just Kuriyama who has experienced the positivity of this process either. ”I got an email from a user explaining that she had tried to commit suicide,” he tells us. ”She was in hospital being taken care of when she saw my TED talk, downloaded the app and started recording a second of her life everyday.”
She emailed to thank me, to say how the app, and the practice of recording something, a moment of gratitude everyday essentially, was helping her and really changing her attitude and feelings towards day-to-day life. I think about that email all the time. That was really powerful.”
Part of this power and positivity comes from the truly personal nature of 7 Second Everyday, both when it comes to creating and watching content. These memories aren’t for Facebook. They aren’t for lnstagram,” Kuriyama explains. ”Sometimes there are these beautiful moments that probably mean nothing to you, and then there’s a seemingly boring moment that probably means everything because of the conversation you just had with a loved one, or the horrible thing that had happened just prior to that.” These are the moments that only you know the true meaning behind. Your video’s secret codes.”
Discovering your own secret codes in 2018 could help you create, keep and enjoy new memories.