One of my New Year’s resolutions was to clean out the cupboard by my clothes closet where I have hoarded everything from diaries, an unused flute and embroidered napkins from my grandmother that I have never used. There’s also a rather large plastic container, which my husband calls my “box of memories.”
Inside, I’ve squirreled away a random collection of letters, photos and drawings that I’ve kept since I was in my late teens. There are sappy love notes, thoughtful cards from friends and long letters from my family that I received while I was traveling through the Middle East and Asia. As this adventure predated cell phones and text messages my only way of communicating with them cheaply involved them writing me notes to “post restante” c/o the various cities I toured through.
I’ve often thought that one of the drawbacks to life and love in the digital age is that there isn’t always a tangible reminder of these key moments. But then I read a story in the New Yorker about an app called Between…
Read on to see if this love app is indeed the sentimental digital equivalent to my box of memories.
Between was developed in Korea and its goal is to create “a beautiful space where you can share all your moments only with the one that matters.” The sensitive minds behind this app got together because they were suffering from “social-network fatigue” and their online lives lacked a sense of intimacy. According to New Yorker writer, Lauren Collins, the developers at Value Creators & Company turned to self-help books to get an understanding of how one creates intimacy: they concluded shared memories and private communications were crucial. Their goal was to create a private online space where a couple would exchange voice and text messages, photos and post notes on a memo board. (You can only have one contact—and that’s your partner.) There’s also a feature coined the “Memory Box” where the couple can store their significant notes and photos for keepsake.
“In South Korea, Between has become a synecdoche for commitment: whereas a boy might once have asked the object of his affections, “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” he now says, “Do you want to Between,” writes Collins. I’m not entirely convinced a digital memory box will have the same emotional pull as touching a letter your mother has written you, or a tattered illustration an old boyfriend mailed you, but at least these precious memories won’t be taking up space in your closet.
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