Reflections from the "One Second Every Day" App

I’ve never been the type to journal. Though the idea of having a tangible place to reflect and reminisce sounds fulfilling, I can never seem to carve out the time to write down my thoughts. That being said, I always find myself wanting to document the aspects of my life that aren’t captured in social media highlight reels.

When the "One Second Every Day" app began circulating my Instagram feed in the spring of my junior year, I knew it was something I’d enjoy. As a virtual journal, the app allows you to record one second every day. At the end of a month, the app creates a compilation, giving you thirty seconds to reminiscence. For a few months, I filmed my daily life, from my before-school coffee runs to my late night swim practices. Looking back on my junior year "One Second Every Day" videos, I’m able to remember parts of my life that aren’t necessarily first to come to mind. Sure, my videos are saturated with the big moments, like beach sunsets from vacations and college visit road trips, but I also get to remember the smaller, but equally important moments. I love reliving late night bike rides with friends and late afternoon walks with my dog. Though I started using the app for fun, there are valuable lessons to be learned from those thirty second clips.

I fell out of touch with "One Second Every Day" during my senior year of high school, partly because of the stress of applying to college. I had completely forgotten about the app until one of my friends from home posted a "One Second Every Day" montage from her first semester at school. So, I decided to use the app over the course of spring quarter. Here’s what I’ve learned.

The main takeaway: I love the app.

"One Second Every Day" is both fun and meaningful to use, which is a rare find for social media apps. As cliché as it sounds, the app forces me to see the good in every day. Sure, it’s often a highlight reel of the most glamorous moments of my days, but it serves as a reminder that there are beautiful moments even in the difficult days. On days when I’m buried by a hefty pile of stress and work, finding something interesting to film offers some relief. That’s what I find so endearing about "One Second Every Day." Watching my monthly montages back, I’m able to identify calming moments from weeks that felt anything but calm.

Though I often found myself wanting to capture the best moments in every day, it’s also important to capture the mundane, as that’s part of everyday life. While rewatching my montages from high school, I wished I filmed some of the things I didn’t think were interesting. As I’m using the app now, I film things that reflect my day. If I spend a rainy Sunday in the library working on a lab report, I’ll film my computer with rain noise in the background. If I spend a day at the beach with friends, I’ll film us all together. My spring quarter montage is a hodge podge of fun moments with friends, stressful workdays and everything in between; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Not only does "One Second Every Day" give me moments to look back on, but it also gives me moments to share. My life in college looks different from my life at home. There's so many moments I wish I could share with the people I love but can't because of distance. There's also so much that can't be articulated in a text or phone call home. I look forward to sharing the things that can't be said about my time in college with my friends and family back home. 

Will I keep using the app beyond this quarter? Honestly, I’m not sure. I love getting to capture parts of my day but can also see myself frequently forgetting. I also want to avoid being stuck in the notion that life needs to be recorded to be beautiful. Videos are fun to look back on, but the moments themselves are what makes them meaningful.

Whether it’s just for fun or you’re hoping to find something meaningful, I hope you all get a chance to try the "One Second Every Day" app.