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Lapse is the new Instagram

Illustration by Akhila Nadimpalli

I created most of my social media accounts when I was in middle school. I had all the usuals for that time, but the one I used most was Instagram.

I’ve always loved taking pictures and sharing moments with friends.

I remember one post in particular where I was waiting for my mom to get off of work, and to pass the time I doodled on about 20 Post-it notes and put them on my face.

It was a silly thing to do, but I thought it was hilarious at the time and posted a picture of myself.

I had no care for how many people liked the post or how many people saw it. I just wanted to have fun.

Now, taking pictures for Instagram feels like a job.

I have to pick a day and location with good weather, decide what poses I want to do, pick an outfit, do my hair and put on makeup. Then after taking the pictures, I have to edit all of them to find the perfect one.

And if I post it and don’t get a decent number of likes, I feel like I did something wrong.

I miss when social media was just about sharing memories.

Lapse could be the new social media to take us all back to that.

Lapse launched in June 2023, and the app prides itself on being different from other social networking sites.

In order to create an account, you have to invite five friends via your contacts to also create an account.

While this may turn some away, you can always send the invitations to random businesses who will never get the notification. I sent one of mine to a random Pizza Hut in my hometown.

Once you have invited people, you are ready to snap your first picture. The mechanisms of taking a picture are the same as on the regular Camera app.

However, once you take the picture it is sent to “The Darkroom,” where the photo is then developed into a disposable camera style.

There is no set time for when the pictures will develop, so you can continue about your day while waiting for them. I love this feature, as it encourages you to not stay focused on which photo looks the best, but more so on the memories you are building around it.

Once the photos are “developed,” you can choose which photos you would like to share and which you would like to archive.

Your friends can see the photo, but there is not a “like” feature. Instead, they can leave a “reaction” or a “note” on the photo. Reactions are little emojis, and notes are just comments under the post.

Lapse also stores your photos into albums under your profile, categorizing them by the month they were taken in. You can also create your own photo albums, which can be set to private or public.

The app is fully designed to change how we approach social media and to revert back to the simple pleasures of early online networking.

In a statement given to Today, the app’s co-founder Dan Silvertown said, “We’ve seen a rapid rise in popularity due to the fact that young people are craving a platform that’s focused on sharing moments with friends, not on influencers or celebrities. Millions of memories are shared on the app every day, and we have lots more exciting things to come very soon.”

Now, none of this is to say that I will stop using Instagram or other social media altogether, but rather, that I will use Lapse to remind myself life is about more than likes.

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