Over the course of about three weeks, I have been undergoing an experiment thanks to my editor. I was told to download “An app that tells you that you’re going to die like 10 times a day.” Apprehensively, I bought that app for ninety-nine cents, and here’s how it has gone.
I will be upfront and say that this semester has quite honestly been terrible. I have not liked several of my classes, I have had personal problems and quite frankly I have cried an average of once per day so far (not including Fridays and Saturdays). My family likes to joke around and say how I am constantly “getting the shaft.” That’s just what we say whenever something unfortunate happens to me- which is often. So here I am, in a story meeting being told to get an app that reminds me of my inevitable death, on top of everything else that’s was going on in my life.
The app is called WeCroak, a clever play on words if you ask me. It sends you a notification five times a day that remind you of your impending doom. The first reminder I got was at 7:30 the following morning as I was bitterly walking to class. “Reminder: Don’t forget you’re going to die. Open for a quote…” That was the first notification I received on my phone that morning, and I really wasn’t sure how I felt about it- and I do not remember feeling happy.
As the days progressed, I continued to receive these multiple daily reminders, and I started to feel as though there was a chance that I was going to die soon thereafter. Obviously, I did not. I mean, I know that I am not immortal, but I never think about the fact that I might die at any waking moment. But those thoughts I had got me to start thinking about, “What if?” As in, What if I died right now- would I be content with how I have lived thus far? And then I knew- that was one of the points of the app.
When I open the app, I am shown a singular quote on a black screen, and at the lower left corner, there is the word “About.” You can click on it and it takes you to another screen that has the WeCroak logo, and reads, “In Bhutan they say contemplating death five times daily brings happiness. Like I said earlier, when I received my first notification, I didn’t necessarily feel happy. I had been feeling like a dark, stormy cloud was just hanging over my head, but after I guess a week- I was genuinely feeling happier. I wasn’t really doing anything different, I just had a brighter outlook on all the times I “got the shaft.”
I remember thinking “why me?” during that story meeting. It wasn’t a complaint, just a genuine- why do I need to write about how I feel when I’m told that I am going to die- what’s the point in that? It surprisingly ended up working out pretty well, and I think I’m going to keep this app for a little while longer.