The Use of Ephemerality as a Digital Tool and its Psychological Effects

How can psychotherapy harness the power of ephemerality?


Area of Interest Background


Psychology of Ephemerality Verses Perpetual

Examples of popular ephemeral mobile applications, such as Snapchat (Left), Whisper (Middle), and Wickr (Right).

Privacy and Censorship

Who benefits from changing the type of information provided on them? Does the “Right to be Forgotten” ruling truly eliminate digital memories?

Reshaping Identities

Indirect Ephemerality in Psychotherapy

Screenshots from The Quiet Place’s project “The Thoughts Room” website, created by Amitay Tweeto.


Research Questions/Hypothesis


  1. Why do you think we are navigating towards this anti-archival digital world?
  2. Do you think there is any beneficiary value, or negative consequences, in either using ephemeral messaging compared to what seems to be ‘normal’ perpetual messaging?
  3. Why do you think people use these ephemeral applications [such as Whisper] as an escape and an open comfortable space to discuss their mental health?
  4. From your experience in the field of Clinical Psychology, how do people deal with the things they want to forget? How can you try to forget when everything around us seems so perpetual?
  5. How do you feel about using [the technique of Free Form Writing (“Free Form Writing”, 2012) and Release Writing (Hassler, 2014) as a] coping method? Have you ever heard of this method or advised your patients to use it?
  6. Do you think having thoughts digitally verses physically thrown out affects the way these thoughts are handled in any way?
  7. Do you think there is a difference between typing these heavy thoughts on a computer’s keyboard to a digital screen, verses a paper and pencil? Would you think users get the same “relieving” effect if they had typed it up verses wrote it down by hand?
  8. What do you think about [the idea of a digitally imposed ephemeral journal] or the idea of the ephemeral timer?
  9. Do you think [if the application posed questions in the future, after you had your thoughts deleted forever, such as like “do you remember your thoughts about this and that?”, and, “did that thought matter in the long run?”] would pose as something beneficiary, or not be a helpful feature for those who are trying to forget their negative thoughts?
  10. Do you think this design artifact could be something beneficiary for the mental health space, or for those who struggle with a variety of different circumstances or dealing with their own personal thoughts?



Summary & Concluding Remarks



Product Designer, UX Rambler, Hockey Friend, Car Plate Collector

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rana Soliman

Product Designer, UX Rambler, Hockey Friend, Car Plate Collector