Why we built Jurni
What is authenticity and how can we achieve it in today’s fast paced and over-stimulated society? For some perspective on what we are faced with, Charles Eisenstein describes the imbalances that prevail within the United States:
The situation in America, the most highly monetized society the world has ever known, is this: some of our needs are vastly overfulfilled while others go tragically unmet. We in the richest societies have too many calories even as we starve for beautiful, fresh food; we have overlarge houses but lack spaces that truly embody our individuality and connectedness; media surround us everywhere while we starve for authentic communication. We are offered entertainment every second of the day but lack the chance to play. In the ubiquitous realm of money, we hunger for all that is intimate, personal, and unique. We know more about the lives of Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, and Lindsay Lohan than we do about our own neighbors, with the result that we really don’t know anyone, and are barely known by anyone either.
The things we need the most are the things we have become most afraid of, such as adventure, intimacy, and authentic communication. We avert our eyes and stick to comfortable topics. . . . We are uncomfortable with intimacy and connection, which are among the greatest of our unmet needs today. To be truly seen and heard, to be truly known, is a deep human need. Our hunger for it is so omnipresent, so much a part of our experience of life, that we no more know what it is we are missing than a fish knows it is wet. We need way more intimacy than nearly anyone considers normal. Always hungry for it, we seek solace and sustenance in the closest available substitutes: television, shopping, pornography, conspicuous consumption — anything to ease the hurt, to feel connected, or to project an image by which we might be seen and known, or at least see and know ourselves.
At Jurni, we wanted to create something within the modern technological framework that changes this societal disproportion and addresses the human needs Eisenstein writes about. Authenticity has been a staple word Jurni has emphasized throughout development. A sort of genuineness is lacking today because people are bombarded with external stimuli without sufficient time to reflect, relax and truly communicate and connect with others. In the past, journaling was one method people used for memorializing life’s moments allowing for self-reflection, growth and healing. Scientific studies bear out the compelling value of journalling on self-awareness and impactful self-conversation. Jurni decided that putting a modern spin on journalling through an all video interactive application would serve the dual purpose of memorializing events in a beautiful, visual manner, while allowing users to share their stories with others. By self-defining an emotion and topic, the user categorizes jurnies for later consumption in an organized, searchable fashion.
People have the opportunity to respond to a user’s public jurnies via video. There is no ability to text nor is there a like button. If someone feels strongly enough about a user’s Jurni, they can respond in kind with video comments. Texting trolls and the ease with which texting creates negativity and disconnect are removed from the Jurni equation. Similarly, a like button leads to superficialities that Jurni does not encourage. If someone seeks disharmony or small gestures, they always have other social media options. Jurni, on the other hand, is designed to enhance engagement and deeper interaction among people.
Discovering that surface level communication has become an imperceptible, ubiquitous form of communication only happens when confronted with something wholly different from the current norm. Fortunately, using Jurni is that wake up call. The initial shock generated by the dissonance between Jurni and other current approaches challenges users. Breaking through modern contrived barriers takes a bit of effort at first but the time-tested rewards of journaling are now encapsulated in Jurni for those willing to embark on a new path.
As the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi proclaimed, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So to, modern society’s step back toward authentic community begins with a single Jurni.
Download Jurni on the App Store (Requires iOS 7 or later. Compatible with iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad).