Tech

New app minutiae is the anti-Instagram, and it looks like a lot of fun

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Dave Fawbert
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Trying to appear like you’re a total legend on social media is an incredibly tiring business. If, like me, you actually are a total legend, then it’s obviously a little bit easier, but even then you’ve got to spend all that time constantly thinking of great #aspirational photo content, lining up the shot, getting the lighting right and nailing that perfect take of you casually doing some low-key but actually massively high-key-compared-to-what-you’re-doing-mate #goalachieving. Still. it’s important that the world does know you’re a total legend so on one must troop.

But a new app is here that seeks to act as the antidote to all of that perfecting posing and pouting you have to do on Instagram, Facebook and the rest – something which is potentially important given that, according to one study at least, 40% of teens feel pressure to post content that makes them look good to others.

The mission statement of minutiae is to be “an anti-social media app that uses a simple but unique concept to compel participants to photograph the normally undocumented moments of life”. And that tool? Once a day, it will send out an alert to its users that it’s time to take a picture – wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing – and you have just five seconds to take it. And if you don’t line something up? It’ll take it automatically anyway.

The idea is to take photos of the ‘in-between moments’ of your life – the ones that people would never think to take because they’re not ‘events’, yet are important and just as valid parts of your life that you should be documenting. It’s basically a mundane Instagram.

Eventually, you’ll take a photo during a different second of every day until, after 1440 days, you’ll have a complete 24 hours of your life, second-by-second.

This photo of my dog Bob could have been one of my 1440 photos, if I had the app and it told me to take it at this specific moment in time. To be fair, he was asleep for ages so there's every chance it would have been the right moment

After you take each photo, you’ll be able to briefly see your collection – once you’ve completed it you’ll be able to download the lot – and you’ll also be able to take a look at one other random user’s collection – but they’ll be anonymous, with just a location. You have no profile, and you can’t like or comment on anyone else’s photo. What a bloody relief.

The app’s creators, Martin Adolfsson, a photographer and Daniel J Wilson, an artist and film-maker, describe it as "your automated self-portrait. Real life. Uncurated. Unfiltered. Unfollowed."

And their manifesto reads:

YOU ARE NOT YOUR TIMELINE

Social media was supposed to keep us in touch with our friends but has instead turned us all into unwitting monkeys filling out the world’s longest consumer survey. Facebook doesn’t want your money. It wants your time. minutiae is a response to our current moment: an anonymous anti-social media app that forces its users to document the in-between moments of life.

A collaboration between artist and participant that retrieves forgotten moments and celebrates the ordinary.

minutiae is not a normal app
minutiae does not provide instant gratification
minutiae is not interested in your data
minutiae will not increase your efficiency
minutiae is not a popularity contest
minutiae is (let’s be honest) not for everyone
minutiae is your automated self-portrait
minutiae is random moments.
minutiae is forgotten memories.
minutiae is life. Real life. Uncurated. Unfiltered. Unfollowed.
minutiae is a marathon, not a sprint.

The app costs an eye-watering $15 (which they say is purely to pay for the costs of the app, as they are not making any money from your data or images) and 100 lucky users will be able to order a book, featuring all 1440 images, spread over 2880 pages, published in two volumes. Oh, it costs $1440. Maybe just stick with the digital version then.

The creators write: “Underestimating the value of rediscovery is linked to people’s erroneous faith in their memory of everyday events. By documenting the present, people provide themselves with the opportunity to rediscover mundane moments that may otherwise have been forgotten.”

(Image: iStock)

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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