Why I Took Video Each Day of the Year in 2014


A Screenshot from the 1SecondEveryDay App. From Jan 20th 2014 to the 31st.

At the start of  each new year we reflect and we talk about how it went for us. And when we talk about our year, we usually only talk about the big events: a job change, a new relationship, a heartbreak, this big stroke of luck or that big misfortune.

But the fact is, our lives are mostly filled with moments that aren’t particularly noteworthy at all. It’s not interesting to talk about the Vietnamese sandwich place you went to for lunch a couple times a month. It’s also not interesting to talk about that parking garage space that you rented when you started driving to work. Rainy days when you do nothing but stay inside reading or watching TV are not interesting, nor is that day you spent waiting at the DMV.

And yet, despite the fact that we don’t care to remember them, these moments constitute the bulk or our experiences. They provide background, context and depth to the “big” events that we do remember and talk about.

If I had read the above paragraphs in 2012, I think I would have nodded my head in agreement. However, since I wasn’t particularly diligent about journaling or keeping a record of my days in any way I don’t think I would have understood its meaning completely until I started taking videos each day using the 1 Second Every Day app to make a montage of the year.

This was the video I shared for 2013:

I admit that I did feel my ego inflate a little bit when friends started liking my video on Facebook and saying how “awesome” my year looked, despite the many days in that year where the most interesting second was a video of the the overcast sky out my apartment window, that programming book I was studying, or that video game that I got addicted to for a couple weeks. Still, I did the best to make my year look as interesting as possible, and many times I found myself seeking out novel situations and activities just so that I could show I was living an eventful and interesting life.

So yes, narcissism was likely one of the bigger motivations for first embarking on my 1 Second Everyday project in 2013. But after that quick swell of pride I experienced after people had liked or shared my video had subsided, I realized that I was still left with the richest chronicle of a period of my life that I could ever hope for. 2013 was one of the best years in living memory for me, but I think that because I had taken a second of video each day to chronicle it, it seemed far richer than any year before it. It was richer not because I experienced more, but simply because I remember more of it. This is why I continued to take video each day in 2014, and will most likely do so indefinitely.

And here is the video from 2014. Happy new year 🙂

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