On life, lived online

Prior to the proliferation of personal connected devices, foundational life experiences were more communal. We’d eat together, go to the park, and sit down to watch TV together.

When the television first came out, it was one per household. As prices dropped and content became more valuable, there were two TVs per house, and it became possible for two people to experience completely different types of content at the same time. Now, our TVs are called iPhones; everyone has one, and we can all choose our own adventure (if you will).

Over the last three years, I’ve spent much of my time working to understand others and I’ve come to believe that one of the biggest failures of the Internet is the way it isolates one’s experiences.

The byproduct of this is twofold. On one hand, the internet has become a foundational part of where we experience life. But on the other, it’s made our experience of the world more isolated. And this has impactful consequences on our ability to empathize with one another. Over the next decade, not only will you discover more of your life experiences on the internet, you’ll consume them there as well.

Photographs as experience sharing mechanisms

Modern digital life has gone through three distinct eras of content consumption and is now entering a fourth (through cloud & ~100x faster mobile data). The first was pre-iPhone, the second was the iPhone + iTunes era, and the third is the iPhone Cloud era. We are now entering a maturation phase of mobile-handheld-computing. Digital experiences will be more engaging, complex, and impactful than ever before.

Every day, we are impacted by hundreds of digital experiences. And right now, we’re largely prevented from curating collections of these impactful experiences with friends.

At Pager, we see photographs as mechanisms for communicating experiences, and see screenshots as the photographs of your digital life. We are building a more powerful screenshot that better communicates your experience of the internet and the unique personality that drives it.

The part about Pager

When we look at screenshots now, we find ourselves in a situation much like mobile photographs in 2010. Then, people said, “my pictures are not worth sharing” and today people are saying, “my screenshots aren’t pretty,” “they’re not valuable,” and “they’re a complete mess.”

The feedback loop around screenshots is broken; preventing them from becoming the default format for capturing our digital experiences. Screenshots are disorganized and static. They don’t reflect the connected nature of the content they capture. Going back to them is tedious and the reward for locating the right screenshot is just more effort. As a result, our digital memories are fragmented across screenshots, group chats, notes, bookmarks, in-app saving, and even sending messages to ourselves.

It shouldn’t have to be this hard.

We see an incredible opportunity to create the screenshot of tomorrow: powerful, engaging, organized, and most importantly, cross-platform by design.

This is what we’re building at Pager, and we are excited to finally share our story with you. You can learn more at pager.xyz (we are hiring!). Feel free to follow us or send us your favorite screenshots over at @pagerxyz on Twitter.

“We all save a tiny handful of items for posterity; we’ve done that for centuries. But there’s an enormous gap between what we think is going to turn out to be important and what actually does turn out to be important. It turns out that the historical record is much more interesting, and much more powerful, if we have the full thing at our disposal, rather than just that tiny subset that we thought at the time was worthy of preservation.”

Felix Salmon, Wired

Special thanks to Gaby Goldberg and the Pager team for their help putting this together.