Cornbread: Reviewing the Here and Now
I’ve never been to Hawaii despite a mild obsession I’ve had with the island destination since I was, like, eight. But, the opportunity and ability to set foot on those paradisiacal shores have never intersected for me. Seasons of color-bright episodes of LOST and the sun-dazzled, sea-soaked stories of my lucky friends and family who have been able to go have only strengthened my resolve (and desire) to get there. ASAP.
But alas, I suffer from a universal human limitation – my physical location. My person, the biological locus of all of my experience, can, unfortunately, only exist in one set of geo-coordinates at a time. I am, as we all are, placed in the here and now, and that is the price of being real. But, it’s a good thing. It offers a perennial present that focuses our being, while offering a platform from which we can perceive the universe.
The here and now is a human dimension. This is also true of much of our art and artifacts. However, much of the internet and digital messaging channels like Twitter and Instagram are somewhat different; experiencing these rarely depends on where or when you are. My Instagram is emphatically NOT in the human dimension, not in the here and now. It is in the digital dimension, a perpetual stream – always on, always flowing, and always everywhere. I must rely on filters and searches to locate things that have flowed by or are nearby.
I am, as we all are, placed in the here and now, and that is the price of being real.
What if a social media channel was similarly built to the human dimension? Other tools are made to fit us–hammers have handles, and even those huge 20-story city cranes provide a booth with a cushioned seat and hand-gripped levers for its operator. What if digital messages were as precious as the present? What if social media could be tied to the here and now, a platform where location was linked with experience? Imagine a world where messages are like treasure. And the platform is the world you live in.
A new app, Cornbread, is designed to do just this. It crafts digital messages and drops them wherever you are. Drop crumbs at specific locations, and they can only be found and experienced at those locations (in the here and now). You can’t encounter a crumb unless you get up and go there, or if the crumb intersects with your daily travels. It’s geocaching meets social media. Cornbread strives to tie messages to place–linking them to the human dimension, while adding depth to that dimension. It’s a social app that works like me, tying my memories and experiences to the places I’ve been.
Hawaii is still on my list, and I fear there will be crumbs in Hawaii before I get there. But when I do, I know there’ll be treasure there for me to find.
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