It seems like our cell phones can do it all. They're always with us, constantly entertaining us, distracting us and even creating a source of stress in our lives. To handle that stress, we use our phones to disconnect from daily life, using apps to create calming white noise or using apps to help us meditate to try and get away from it all.
But now there's an app that goes one step further. Aptly called "WeCroak", this app reminds users that life isn't forever. Ultimately, we're all going to die.
Why would anyone even want an app that reminds you of your impending death? Well, according to WeCroak's description, contemplating mortality can help you gain happiness. The app randomly sends notifications five times throughout the day to help you remember to "stop and think about death."
This idea stems from Bhutanese culture, where people believe that "to be a happy person one must contemplate death five times daily."
Besides reminding you you're going to die, WeCroak encourages "contemplation, conscious breathing or meditation" each time the notification pings. The app states, "We find that a regular practice of contemplating mortality helps spur needed change, accept what we must, let go of things that don't matter and honor things that do."
App creator Ian Thomas previously tried to practice the Bhutanese belief, but had difficulty remembering to remind himself ... until he realized his phone could help. That ultimately led to the development of WeCroak.
A writer for The Atlantic, Bianca Bosker tried the app, hoping that WeCroak (along with other mindfulness apps) could help her find clarity and peace.
She's not alone in that journey. According to a study, the average cell phone user spends 145 minutes on their phone each day and touches their phone around 2,617 times.
We all seem to have a problem when it comes to mobile phones — most of us are addicted, paying more attention to notifications, games, and social media than we should. That's why WeCroak is so helpful.
Bosker found that the app helped calm her nerves and enjoy herself more — your impending death serves as quite the reminder to do just that. But the app doesn't cause users to linger. Other than a notification and a quote, the app has no extra features. The goal is to "disengage people as quickly as possible" from the app, and hopefully their phone.
"Over time, WeCroak changes the way I relate to my phone. As I scroll through Instagram or refresh Twitter, WeCroak interrupts with the sobering reminder that it is not just my attention these other apps are consuming, but chunks of my life," said Bosker. "I've come to embrace WeCroak as the anti-app."
If you weren't on your phone, would you have more time to accomplish other tasks? Complete a goal? Learn a new skill? Could you find ways to help others in need?
What about your family? Could you spend more quality time with them if you stopped wondering what was posted on Facebook? It's important to really contemplate what we do with our time because we only have so much. Once it's gone, we can never get it back.
Decide what you really want in life and don't let tedious distractions get in the way. Life can end in an instant — don't let yours pass with so much time wasted.