I Looked at Timehop Every Day For a Year (And Then I Deleted The App)

Are you familiar with Timehop?

The popular app “gathers your social media content and photos from across your favorite platforms and shows it to you on its anniversary, everyday.”

Timehop is a pretty freaking cool app — one I’ve been a fan of for the past few years.

As described above, Timehop rounds up ALLLLLL of your social media posts (and even photos on your phone’s camera roll) from this day last year, the year before that, and on and on for your viewing pleasure.

A digital walk down memory lane.

It has become part of my daily routine to click open Timehop and review my social media posts and memories from this day in my personal history. I delighted in re-sharing special moments through Timehop’s sharing feature texting my siblings funny quips about our pets, or tweeting out old tweets that foreshadowed the beginnings of my blog and business

My dose of daily nostalgia was fun, until it became almost an unhealthy habit, and I quit the app cold turkey.

(Note: This post isn’t meant to bash Timehop in any way, shape or form. In fact, I love the app and it brought me much joy for many years. However, this post is meant to share my personal story of why it became important for me to stop dwelling in the past and instead stay focused on the present.)

Why are we so obsessed with streaks?

Timehop is extremely addicting. Here’s why: At the end of each viewing session, Timehop shows you how many days in a row you’ve looked at the app. The app calls this a streak.

I became obsessed with this number, getting annoyed at myself if I forgot to check the app, accidentally missing a day or two, restarting my streak.

Apparently, I’m not alone in this obsession. A quick Google search of “Timehop streak” reveals tweets between the app and users anxiously wondering why their streak reset and how they can get it back.

That led me to wonder. Why are we so obsessed with streaks? Timehop certainly isn’t the only app to utilize this tactic — Snapchat uses it too. (Side note: There are SO many fascinating articles about why people — especially teenagers — are obsessed with Snapchat streaks. Give this one from BusinessInsider a read.)

I did a little research, and I couldn’t find any hard data on why humans are so drawn to streaks. The closest I could find was a CNN article that explained the ‘rule of reciprocation’ explaining that “humans have a need to respond to a positive action with another positive action.”

It makes sense. At the end of each Timehop viewing, I felt a sense of celebratory satisfaction. A task complete. An item checked off my list with literally no work done on my part.

So I set my sights on a one-year streak: 365 days of looking at Timehop. No matter what. 

And guess what? I did it! I looked at Timehop for one year straight (although I swear I missed a day or two and Timehop gave me a “free pass”). 

So, what did the one-year streak get me? Well, nothing. Sure, I felt a little moment of glee. I did it! I beat the system. 

But then, really, I felt nothing. After all, I didn’t actually accomplish anything except opening the same app every single day for one year.

Pulling myself out of the past 

While Timehop can be wonderful in helping us to remember some of life’s brightest moments, unfortunately there’s also a depressing downside.

For one, Timehop remembers everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. Reliving breakups. Family deaths. Times of sadness and struggle. A walk down my personal memory lane didn’t always leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

As an example, despite being in a happy long-term relationship right now, viewing tweets from a breakup years ago left me with a little pang of sadness — not because I’m still sad about that relationship ending, but because for just a moment, those shared memories would bring me right back to that painful place. 

And on an almost opposite note, as humans, we tend to romanticize the past. This is called psychological distance — looking back at old times and remembering them as better than they actually were. (Anyone else guilty?! Hello!)

Here’s a personal example of psychological distance at work. Even though I quit my job to run my own business and I love what I do, sometimes seeing Timehop posts about my old day job makes me miss what I used to have. That’s because I’m only thinking about the positive aspects the past — likely remembering those memories very differently because I’m so physically and mentally removed from them and how I actually felt in those moments.

Fascinating stuff, right?

So while Timehop entertained me most of the time or brought me back to happy moments, there were certainly days it made me feel sad or regretful or anxious. And real life is hard enough, right? Why make it more challenging?

Why I quit Timehop

Ultimately, all of this led me (with the encouragement of my boyfriend who rolled his eyes every time I laid in bed scrolling through 10 years of digital memories to get to that satisfying end point) to delete the app, once and for all.

Here’s what it boils down to for me.

Timehop began to feel like a waste of time. After all, I’ve been active on Twitter for 10+ years, so each day I’d have a ton of social media content to sift through — sometimes taking me 10-15 full minutes to get through it all. On most days, I’d mindlessly scroll through without even reading or viewing JUST to keep my streak going. I mean, what?!

Timehop stopped feeling productive. Sure, it was fun to see some of my memories, but on a day-to-day basis, my tweets and posts really aren’t that earth-shattering. There was even a time back in the early Twitter day that I tweeted “Goodnight, moon” every night before I went to sleep. Why? I don’t know. But year after year, Timehop reminds me of the embarrassing ways I used social media before I realized the Internet is forever. 

I can access my memories in other ways. My fondest memories live on in other places. For one, they live in my head. And they live in the stories I can share with those I experienced those memories with. Similarly, many of my most poignant moments have become posts here on the blog. On the social media side of things, I share far less frequently on Facebook and Instagram, so I can scroll back (or utilize Facebook’s On This Day feature — very similar to Timehop, but Facebook-specific). These memories are easily accessible, if I want to find them. 

Living in the present

Most importantly, I deleted Timehop to focus on the present.

So many of us focus our energy on things that happened in the post. Many of us also fall prey to worrying and planning for the future. It can be exhausting, mentally and emotionally. I’m certainly guilty.

While deleting an app off of my phone isn’t necessarily the answer to all of these major life challenges, it feels like a productive step in the right direction.

I deleted Timehop about two months ago, and other than writing this post, I haven’t given it much thought. I don’t miss it. 

If Timehop brings you joy, by all means, continue using the app. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not bashing Timehop or what they do in any way. I think their technology is quite genius, actually.

However, if a part of you feels a certain way when you view your Timehop, maybe take a moment to consider why you feel that way, and make a choice for yourself about continuing to use the app.

Tell me! Do you use Timehop? Have you had any positive or negative experiences with the app? Anyone obsessed with the streak like me? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo via iTunes

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Holiday Gift Guide: 13 Perfect Gift Ideas for Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

Confession: I love Christmas, but I absolutely hate Christmas shopping.

Even with the plethora of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, last-minute deals and steals, insert-name-of-amazingly-awesome-holiday-sale-here, I can’t seem to get myself excited about making a (shopping) list and checking it twice.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy seeing the people I love smile when they open a present or the look of delight when you know you’ve nailed it with a gift — I do! But for me, getting to that point is often pretty difficult.

So while I may not be able to help you choose the ideal gift for mom or the hard-to-top-last-year’s gift for your significant other, I can help you with picking the perfect present for one type of person you may have in your life: the entrepreneur or business owner.

Whether you want to help your favorite boss lady (or dude) unwind, keep them caffeinated or help them grow their business, these 13 gifts for entrepreneurs and business owners are sure to please.

Buying a holiday gift for the business owner in your life? Here are 13 perfect holiday gifts for entrepreneurs and business owners.

To relax and unwind

If there’s one emotion most entrepreneurs can relate to, it’s feeling crazed and stressed out. (No? Just me?) Give your loved one the gift of peace and calm this holiday season.

1. A massage

One hour of pure bliss, cozy robes and peace and quiet. I feel zen just thinking about it. For the busy biz owner, there’s truly nothing better than a massage and time to decompress. 

In the Philadelphia region? I’m partial to massages at Pure Spa in Ambler for something closer to home and The Spa at Hotel Hershey (aka the Chocolate Spa) for more of a getaway — SO decadent. Later this week, I’m excited to visit 3000BC Spa right here in my own backyard of Chestnut Hill for a hot stone massage, so I’ll be sure to report back!

Price varies

2. Calm meditation app

While I’m not much of a meditator these days, I did meditate for 100 days straight and developed a solid habit of meditating a few years back when I first started JL&Co. (I definitely needed those 10 minutes of calm every morning in those early days of starting a biz!)

And speaking of feeling calm, that’s the name of the app I used! I loved the Calm app (free to download with options to upgrade to a paid plan for access to more meditations) because it offers guided meditations AND tracks your daily progress, so if you’re Type A like me, you’ll love the daily streak you can create when you meditate. 

$59.99 for a one-year subscription 


To stay nourished and caffeinated

When life gets crazy, we often turn to the more nourishing things in life — for me, that definitely comes in the form of food, wine and coffee. Keep your entrepreneur energized with these delicious gift options.

3. A subscription to BlueApron (Plus, BlueApron Wine)

If meal planning and grocery shopping feel stressful (especially as an entrepreneur running in a million directions) a meal delivery service is the perfect gift.

I’m partial to BlueApron — For a cooking newbie like me, BlueApron makes trying new recipes accessible and fun. I’m on a schedule where I get two boxes per month (and Tim gets BlueApron wine once a month!) so we’re always fully stocked with goodies. 

(Want to give BlueApron a try? You can grab $30 off your first order here.)

$59.94 for a three-meal box

4. Gift card to a favorite coffee spot

Yes, it’s a cliche, but yes, most solopreneurs and business owners l-o-v-e their coffee!

I’d take Dunkin’ over the other guys any day, but pick your poison and grab your business owner a gift card to their favorite coffee spot to keep them buzzing all day long.

Oh, and if you really don’t want to go out and about to buy gift cards, did you know you can buy gift cards for many of your favorite restaurants and stores on Amazon? (They’ve really thought of everything, haven’t they?!)

Price varies


To stay fit

Love it or hate it, staying fit is important for everyone, and especially entrepreneurs and business owners who can sometimes get so lost in their businesses, they forget to make time for themselves. 

5. A gift card to a favorite studio or ClassPass

Yoga, barre, pilates, bootcamp, spin. There’s certainly no shortage of fun and challenging workouts out there.

Give the gift of fitness with a gift card to your biz owner’s favorite studio or gym (if they have one) or consider ClassPass to offer your gift-ee the chance to experiment with all different kinds of fitness classes and studios in their city.

Price varies by location; in Philadelphia, ClassPass costs $55/month for 5 classes or $95/month for 10 classes

6. An exercise ball

For the past year, I’ve promised myself I’d buy an exercise ball to use in lieu of my cozy chair at my desk. (Guess now’s the time to gift one of these to myself!)

Work out my core while I work? Yes, please. 

Between $15 and $30


To stay connected

Who doesn’t love a tech toy? My online business doesn’t require many tools, but these gadgets are among my favorites.

7. A portable charger

Between checking my email, constantly refreshing Instagram and Twitter and listening to the dozens of podcasts I love, my phone battery needs to be charged at least twice a day. When you’re on the go, you definitely need a portable charger.

I’m obsessed with this rose gold color charger! So pretty.

$23.99

8. Amazon Echo

Alexa, tell me the weather. Alexa, play Spotify. Alexa, can you handle that client phone call at 2 p.m.? (Well, she can’t do that last item, but she can do almost everything else).

My boyfriend bought me an Amazon Echo as a housewarming gift last year, and I love it! Alexa lives in my kitchen and is quite handy, plus has a great speaker for playing music.

$99.99 (Right now there’s a special deal for $79.99!)

9. A planner

As a college kid, I swore by my paper planner. Now as a business owner? I run my life and cal through Google and my phone, but I know there are lots of solopreneurs, biz owners and bloggers out there who still love the old pen and paper planner. 

My friends over at One Woman Shop put together this post to help you find the perfect paper planner.

Price varies

10. A branded PopSocket

PopSockets are literally all the rage right now. 

Not in the loop yet? The PopSockets website described them as “fashionable accessories that help transform your mobile devices. PopSockets offer a secure grip for texting or snapping the perfect selfie, and propping your phone up for catching the latest video.” Practical, right?

I recently placed an order for a PopSocket with the JL&Co logo. I can’t wait to rock it. Get your favorite biz owner a PopSocket with their company logo. How legitimate!

$15


To grow the biz

With the New Year on the horizon, help your favorite entrepreneur get in gear for 2018 with a gift that’s perfect to help them grow their business.

11. FreshBooks subscription

FreshBooks is hands-down my absolute favorite tool to keep my business running smoothly. Know why? FreshBooks helps me get PAID!

I use FreshBooks to invoice my clients, track and receive payments and track my business expenses.

(Want to give FreshBooks a try? Get 60 days — two months — free here!)

$25/month for up to 50 clients

12. A photo shoot

Every business owner needs a headshot! For me, as a blogger and biz owner, I need lots of good shots to use here on the blog, on my website and on social media.

Give the gift of a session with a photographer — encourage your gift-ee to get all dolled (or gussied) up, pick a few different outfits and refresh their collection of photos for that all important marketing and personal branding line item on the business budget.

Price varies

13. Books!

I’ve always been a bookworm, so getting a book as a Christmas gift would be absolutely delightful.

Here are some of my fav. entrepreneurial reads (and books on my TBR list):

Price varies

Okay, tell me! If you’re a solopreneur, business owner or entrepreneur, what’s on your holiday wish list? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

*This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase anything through my links, that means you’re supporting me, my blog and my business (at no extra charge to you, of course!) — making it easier for me to continue providing awesome and free content for you on the regular. Thanks for that!

**Photo via Pixabay

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