How To Build an Instagram Time Machine

A comprehensive 2015 year in review

Kyle Ryan
Desk of Kyle
Published in
4 min readJan 1, 2016


All of my Instagram photos from 2015

352 photos • 365 days • 7 Cities

Here we are again! Friends and relatives are gathering from all around the country to celebrate the holidays. This year around the Christmas feast, there is one prevailing statement that I have hear:

Boy, time flies. It seems like yesterday you were…

I treat statements like this with a passionate — no. I have lived so much this year, and I denounce any statement that says this year flew by. I experienced so many new things that would be incomprehensible to consider in my youth. Time for me in the last 2 years has gone very slowly. Very rarely have I wished time to go slower. All of my new experiences have given me a chance to slow down time.

From Humans of New York — “I have this theory. You ready? So we are on earth for a finite amount of time. And time is a manmade perception. And we perceive time passing through change– seasons, aging, things like that. So to expand our time on earth, we must incite as much change in our lives as possible.”
“Interesting. I haven’t heard that before.”
“That’s because I made it up!”

I discovered this post on Facebook this past year. It was a statement that a New Yorker had made on the Humans of New York blog. It stuck with me, and I recently saw the same sentiment in Brian Chesky’s article about time travel. Most noticeably, a tool like Instagram has become that way that I can record all of the moments that happen in my life. Through increased perception, I can be more aware of how time passes. Instead of noticing change in the seasons, age, and rust, I notice changes in the photos I take. My Instagram has become a testament to the power of recording experiences. It has become a tool to process time and slow it down through increased perception of change.

My Instagram photos from 2015

Big Moments in 2015

  • In February, I flew on a plane by myself for the first time. Although seemingly inconsequential, it was a huge mental barrier to cross.
  • I visited Lake Tahoe for Interact and met some awesome friends.
  • I pledged and got initiated into Alpha Delta Phi at University of Rochester. This has and will continute to define the way I experience college.
  • I worked with an awesome team at Volley in San Francisco this summer.
  • I got to experience what it was like to live, eat, and sleep in San Francisco.
  • I traveled internationally by myself for the first time.
  • I visited Japan for the first time. This was the most incredible experience I have had in my entire life. The trip gave me a chance to see how valuable experiences were. It showed me how narrow-minded and fearful many people are towards the unknown.
  • I worked on Peek and met an increidble friend and mentor in Gabriel Valdivia.
  • I started a remote, part-time iOS engineering role with Estate.
  • I started development of two new iOS apps — Overlook and Lux.

Behavior Goals for 2016

  • Have more experiences that you or others would hesitate to have.
  • Nourish the things that make you different.
  • Be less judgmental about yourself and others.
  • Don’t define your self-worth by “how worse off you are from others”.
  • Continue to recognize how privledge affects your life negatively or positively. You are white, male, tall, English speaking, American, and educated, ect.
  • Don’t second guess your abilities and potential.
  • Get out of the creative rut caused by staying in one place.
  • Do less complaining. Do you even see where you are?
  • Have more deep relationships with others.
  • Continue to be confident in situations were you would normally not be confident.
  • Make. Make. Make. When you wake up, you need to have one goal in mind… create.
  • Continue to record life as it happens.
  • Travel to at least two countries or places that would not have considered 4 years ago.
  • Continue to record your experiences in photograhy.
  • Express yourself as much as possible.
  • Connect with as many like-minded people as possible.
  • Find two or three new, close relationships you can nuture.
  • Build things that make you and others happy.
  • Take the time to understand the world around you.
  • Nuture your body as much as your mind.
  • Find people who life you up and do not hold you down.
  • Get closer to becoming a true individual that is unique from the rest.

All in all, this was an incredible year. I thank everyone who was I apart of it. I’ll be working towards some incredible things in 2016, an I can’t wait for it to happen. You can watch life unfold here. I wish everyone the best of luck in making next year even more stellar than the previous one.