Unless you’re a fictional version of Benedict Cumberbatch, you probably have a mediocre memory. We all do. Like, Monday morning rolls around and you run into Suzy from marketing at the office toaster (hi, Suzy!), and she asks what you did over the weekend, and you pause for a moment to think about it and realize you have no idea.
Life is a constant stream of largely mundane, occasionally exhilarating experiences that you mostly just forget. Sure, you can recall the highs and lows of 2011 when your memory is jogged, but 99 percent of your life experiences—whoosh, oblivion. That’s why there’s an app called 1 Second Everyday.
Here’s how it works. You take one second of video, every day (nice), and you input each clip into the app. Simple. Then, the app stitches all the clips together, datestamps them, and presents you with a sixish-minute long video at the end of the year. If you need it, the app will even send a randomized reminder to take your video each day. Here’s the original year-in-summary video from 1SE founder Cesar Kuriyama:
The real beauty of 1 Second Everyday is that the end result feels honest. After so many Instagram-worthy shots (brunch at Sqirl, Thousand Steps beach, that mid-century bungalow you Airbnb-ed in Yucca Valley) you run out of exciting stuff and start taking clips of your commute, the ceiling fan, the magnolia tree outside your apartment window, leftover curry in the microwave—moments that seem boring until you see them as part of a whole. Then, all stitched together, they capture the the look, the sound, the tone of a year in your life. They bring with them a whole flurry of memories and sensations, plus the shock of just how much life changes in 365 days without you realizing it. Watching it all play out in less than ten minutes might be overstimulation, but—as any self-respecting fan of Takis knows—overstimulation is sometimes really wonderful.
Thomas Harlander is a staff writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He recently wrote “The Complicated Sadness of Getting a Gift You Secretly Hate.”