By Jeremy Sierra
Looking back on 2015, how much have you forgotten? Maybe you remember the big moments—a wedding or a vacation to Europe—but what about the ordinary days that make up most of your year? Brooklyn resident Cesar Kuriyama made an app that can help you with that.
1 Second Everyday is a simple app that allows you to record one second of every day of your life and stitch them together into one video.
Kuriyama, a Brooklyn resident, was working in advertising and approaching 30 when he decided to take a year off. “I didn’t want to turn 40 and only vaguely remember my year off.” Like many of us, he no longer had a clear memory of his life when he was 20. He didn’t want to spend a lot of time capturing his life with video or photos, either, and forget to actually live it.
So he landed on one second a day. With a background in animation, he knew how much can happen in a single second—a moment of surprise, for example, or a laugh. Eventually, he created an app, and five years later it’s approaching one million downloads.
The videos are easy to make with a smart phone. You can share them with your friends and family or keep them as a memento for yourself.
Those seconds don’t seem like a lot, but he’s noticed some positive side effects. “It was motivating me to do something notable every day,” says Kuriyama.
Now he has five years’ worth of video, each one about six minutes long. He watches his videos occasionally and his memory stays fresher. “If you don’t look back it becomes harder and harder to remember it,” he says. And those seconds can trigger all sorts of other memories.
In fact, when we spoke he hadn’t watched his 2015 video because he’s going to watch it at MIT, where academics will study the effect it’s having on his brain and his memory.
“For me it’s very much about mindfulness and self-reflection,” said Kuriyama. “I’ve made important decisions based on looking back on how I’ve been living so I can make a decision about how I want to live.”
But he’s not using it just to reflect on his own life in Brooklyn. “One of my favorite things about 1 Second Everyday is being able to get a sense of what life is like outside your own bubble.”
Watching the videos of other users he sees moments from all over the world. “A lot of people use it in their own way,” he said. One person records her daily cup of coffee, each day with a different background. Teachers often use it to make videos of their classrooms. Many people use it to record their dogs or children or to track their physical training.
Kuriyama and his team are continually adding new features—you can now take videos of events like a wedding or a short vacation, and you can make videos with segments that are longer than one second. New Year’s is always one of the busiest times for them as people decide they want to upload their retrospectives, and start recording another year.
For a few dollars, you can download the app and capture 2016 one second at a time.