Instant messaging is one of the greatest and most useful methods of modern communication; it’s a way to have one conversation over a long period of time without having to be constantly active and it allows us to send quick updates or receive answers to questions without having to go through the rigmarole of small talk. It’s wonderful. But it’s also annoying because with the ability to instantly send, there’s come an expectation to instantly reply and sometimes the vibration of our phones can feel like an annoying and persistent knock on the door rather than a communicative joy. The idea of patiently waiting for a response to something in a world where we’re all connected has understandably started to fade as slower methods of communication are phased out.
That’s why messaging app Jack is trying to do something a little different by taking the instant out of instant messaging. Jack works by allowing you to send someone a message, image, video clip, or audio clip that they’ll receive instantly but gives you the ability to decide when the recipient can open it, whether it’s one hour, one day, or one year in the future. The recipient can see the time counting down to when they can open their message and the developers hope that this will bring “the pleasure of anticipation” back into communication.
It’s a simple idea but it’s one that could bring genuine pleasure back into receiving a message from someone just by removing the pressure to instantly respond. Jack could be used to make sure you send someone that happy birthday message at the right time or an anniversary video. My personal plan is to send this clip and make sure my recipients can’t open it for 12 years. The anticipation of the angry replies will sustain me through my twenties.