So what is this “minutiae” thing I’ve been hearing about
minutiae is an anti-social media app that uses a simple but unique concept to compel participants to photograph the normally undocumented moments of life.
You mean, like, last week’s brunch or cousin Katie’s wedding?
No, the undocumented moments of life - not the stuff you already post to social media.
So much: your daily commute to work, you staring blankly at your laptop screen, waiting in line at Trader Joe’s -- really, almost all of your daily experiences.
Why would I ever want to document these moments?
Well, because our brains are designed to remember unique and novel events -- a bias that is mirrored in social media -- so we tend to forget the repetitive daily routine that accounts for the majority of our lives. However, these moments are your life, and therefore worthy of being remembered.
Ok, so how does it work?
minutiae sends out a notification to all users across the globe simultaneously at the exact same minute -- telling them to take a photo of whatever is in front of them there and then.
But what if there’s nothing interesting in front of me there and then?
That’s the point, most moments in life are not interesting, however it’s still your life and the moments are therefore worthy of being documented.
Yes, really -- a recent Harvard study found that “We generally do not think about today’s ordinary moments as experiences that are worthy of being rediscovered in the future. However...what is ordinary now actually becomes more extraordinary in the future - and more extraordinary than we might expect.”
And what if the alarm goes off in the middle of the night?
Well, how many photos of your dark bedroom do you have? (you can also ignore the alert)
Ok, I see and how often will I receive an alert?
Once a day, but never at the same minute twice.
Because the project spans 1440 days -- which is the number of minutes in 24 hours.
Ok, and what if I miss one of the alerts, I mean sometimes I don’t hear my alarm?
If you miss it, you miss it -- then you have to wait until the next day to participate. BUT, if you miss too many you will be kicked out of the app.
So, what’s anti-social about it?
Well, after you take your photo, your image gets uploaded and then you’ll then have the ability to view other participants images taken at the exact same minute as you took yours.
Wait, that doesn’t seem anti-social?
Right, however it’s all anonymous so you won’t be able to message, like, follow, or comment on the other participants’ images. Once you close down the app, the other participants’ images are also gone and you have to wait until the next day when a new set of random participants’ images will be accessible.
Hm, an anonymous photo app? What could go wrong with that?
Valid concern, however, seeing as once you receive an alert you only have 10 seconds to take the photo AND you have no idea when the alert will go off. So, unless your office has a really casual Friday dress code you may be hard pressed to behave poorly. Of course we trust in the power of human ingenuity when it comes to poor behavior, so there is always flagging and filtering.
So, what happens once I’ve taken my 1440 photos?
Happy you asked. We have this book, but it’s a bit of a secret, only 100 people will be able to buy one and there aren’t many left. But more about that next time...
Okay, so how do I download it?
We’re currently in development but sign up here to request an invite and we’ll let you know when it’s available.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org