Digital apps help users connect with a range of tools and experiences, from mood-boosters
to music recs
, and even volunteer opportunities
. But new to the scene are apps that aim to connect us to our former selves. Siphoning bits and pieces of our online pasts, these digital time capsules serve up the photos, posts and personal letters that comprise our individual virtual histories.
: Nostalgic Instagram
fanatics, rejoice! This simple app links directly to Instagram to send users a daily pictorial blast from the past. Drawing from Instagram’s photo archive, which has built up impressively over its mere seven-month existence
, MorningPics delivers a photo each morning directly to a user’s inbox. Unlike predecessor Photojojo
, which makes the more specific promise to deliver photos from a full year prior (to trace activities over time or unveil one’s aging process
), MorningPics opts for the element of surprise. Each randomly chosen photo, plus related comments and likes, is meant to recall a memory or moment that may have otherwise been lost to the ether.
: For those inclined to chronicle their thoughts and actions in words, Past Posts provides a glimpse into yesteryear—through the watchful eyes
of Facebook. From the developers of 4 Square and 7 Years Ago
(which alerts users to their Foursquare
check-in spots from one year back), this Facebook-supported app sends users a daily email report of their one-year-old FB activity, including status updates, walls posts, and photo uploads. Likely to appeal to frequent status makers and profile pic updaters
, the app offers an interesting take on the time capsule trend, focusing less on groundbreaking events or inspirational messages and more on the up-to-the-minute minutiae
that fuels social networks.
has provided the essential virtual message-in-a-bottle service for those interested in communing with their former selves since 2005. The site’s straightforward (admittedly 2005-esque) interface allows visitors to compose an email to their personal address and choose a send date up to 50 years into the future. In the years since its launch, the site has collected more than 1.5 million letters to the future and, having passed the five-year mark, has anonymously published hundreds of delivered emails
. Messages run the gamut from silly
, but all the authors share the earnest intention of reminding their future selves what it felt like to be alive that day.