Cadence and the Death of Digital Dualism

The convergence of our physical and digital identities has already begun


Digital dualism is the idea that we have mutually exclusive online and offline personas. When we are online we present ourselves the way we want to be seen, whereas in real life, well, we do our best. But you already know all of this. So why is digital dualism dead, or on its last leg? And what is Cadence?

Cadence is an app I’m building with my friend, George, which has now turned into a company, also called Cadence. We have defined Cadence as a platform for “active lifestyle networking” that allows us to connect and meet with friends and new people like us based on our daily fitness and activity. We have literally built the entire foundation of our product (currently available in open beta on the App Store) on three pillars: activity, proximity, and temporality. And it is the combination of these three pillars that we believe will lead to the ultimate demise of digital dualism. Here’s why:

Pillar One: Activity

With all of our fitness tracking gadgets, the prevelance of APIs to tap into them, and most importantly, a general social acceptance of activity tracking, we now have a massive trove of data and information about ourselves and our daily activity. To give an example, most of us with iPhones track our steps. Step count is a personal daily benchmark for many of us that we want to beat, or at least maintain. It tells us, “Yeah, I’ve been moving around today,” and that genuinely makes us feel pretty good. Some of us even get specific about our workouts and actively input all of our information regularly. Whether you simply walk to work or are training for an Ironman, activity is important to most of us.

At Cadence, it is our genuine belief that our personal activity, i.e. how we move and how much, tells more about ourselves than any subjective blurb or image we could upload to a social media, friending, or dating site. Conversely, we understand how this information is very personal, which is why we put it through a series of algorithms that ultimately spits out a simple and succinct 1–10 Cadence score, your daily Cadence. Within the app itself, we pair you with people with a similar Cadence. This is because daily activity directly implies commonalities in daily habits and routines, which we believe also leads to a higher rate of compatibility among our community members. Having a higher or lower Cadence is completely irrelevant — there is no hierarchy. Rather, we are simply at the Cadence level we are at. We can choose to move up (or down, or neither) depending on our personal lifestyle and the conscious decision to be active.

The activity pillar removes the guess-work (and needless swiping) that we do when it comes to meeting and assessing people online and likewise presents an honest portrayal of our truest selves.

Pillar Two: Proximity

Important to understand here is that our Cadence is our daily activity relative to our inner network (our friends and people we know), as well as our general network (the community around us). Our physical location, as well as our existing social networks (and their networks) all key in to the calculation of our Cadence. It’s not just how we move, but where we move.

Our location and the patterns of our movement in relation to the destinations in our lives are significant indicators of our character. Going to the gym, going skiing, going to the symphony, going to Yosemite, these are all examples of destinations near and far that hint at not only our personal interests, but our willingness to commit to routines or simply try new things.

Within the app, our proximity to the people and places around us not only plays a role in which community members we see based on geofiltration, but also the community members that frequent the same or similar types of places as us over time. This makes our Cadence score less binary and more fluid and maleable — something we are in control of and choose to maintain or increase.

The proximity pillar creates spacial context for our digital identities tethered in the real world, further blending our physical and digital identities.

Pillar Three: Temporality

It’s not just how and where we move, but when we move and for what amount of time. This is why we call the third pillar Temporality. As individuals, we all “move about the cabin” differently, at our own pace and across different distances at each time. Over time, the patterns that we form can be called our habits, and those habits have deep implications of our preferences and values. If we go to the gym every day for one hour, it shows our dedication to fitness. If we go skiing every weekend in the winter, it shows our passion for sports. If we go to the symphony once a month, it indicates our potential love for the arts. If we travel to Yosemite once a year, it shows our undeniable love for the outdoors.

It’s like they say, timing is everything. That’s why within the app we are matched with people based on our commitment to our daily, weekly, monthly, and annual routines. Sure swiping and reading through extensive profiles is tedious, but those are hardly painpoints. The true painpoint of the existing paradigm of meeting people online is the high probability of a failed match when you actually meet in person. This is mostly due to binary and unrealistic filters on the front end, and the the absence of metrics that matter on the backend. Those days are now behind us with Cadence.

The longer and more frequently we engage in the real world, the closer our physical and digital identities grow on Cadence. Let’s let our actions do the talking.


The key component to Cadence is you. With your engagement on the platform over time, in conjuction with millions of others, we have a real opportunity to finally put digital dualism out of its misery, and with good reason. The future of social media depends on it.

For more information on Cadence, please visit our website.

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Sign up for Cadence by downloading the app from the App Store.