Take a social media break by diving into this Delaware-made app - Technical.ly Delaware

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Jan. 24, 2019 1:19 pm

Take a social media break by diving into this Delaware-made app

Game developer Matt Sharp created Sojourn as an alternative to social media. It's a private place for your thoughts and memories.

Sojourn developer Matt Sharp.

(Courtesy photo)

Let’s face it: social media has a privacy problem.

We all know about the platform-inflicted privacy issues – the info leaks, the data collection, the targeted ads that seem just a bit too tailored. But, as Wilmington game developer Matt Sharp observed, sometimes the privacy issues lie with us.

“Sometimes we use social media to vent, and sometimes we post things that just don’t need to be out there publicly,” Sharp said.

He’s not judging you. “I’ve done it for sure.”

Sharp, who founded Momiji Studios (you may have played one of his demos at the DIW18 Kickoff Party), looked for an app that allowed him to keep a record of his day-to-day without the social media aspect. A personal journal in app form – one that uses a format that, like social media, is easy to use, organize and add to. Something more than a simple notepad app.

When he couldn’t find anything that fit his needs, he used his developing skills to create his first non-game app: Sojourn.

The app is simple. Something comes to mind — a moment you want to remember, a feeling, a story idea – and instead of clicking on Facebook to post it publicly, you open Sojourn and (after connecting with Google) click on “Add Memory.”

Each memory is assigned a color and rating from one to five stars, each of which can be used to organize and sort the memories. So, for example, you could record family memories in green, work memories in orange and creative ideas in purple. You can filter by color, star rating, date, title or detail words.

(Screenshot)

Input your thoughts. (Courtesy photo)

Much like social media, the idea is to keep posts short and sweet. They should also be “buildable”: memories start with a tweet-length entry that can be added to later.

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“You can add a memory during the day, and then later when you have more time you can add to it,” said Sharp. Additions are formatted like social media comments, and you can add as many as you want as frequently as you want. If you want, you can “live tweet” your whole day, without publicizing it.

(Journaling, some researchers say, can be a helpful tool in managing stress and anxiety. For those looking for accessible mental health resources, try this therapy calculator tool our sister site Technical.ly Philly wrote about or Generocity’s guide to low-cost mental health resources in Philadelphia.)

While Sojourn may come across like an anti-social media app, Sharp says it’s not intended to replace social media altogether.

“I still use social media,” he said. “But my hope is that social media becomes more about interaction with other people, and that people will use Sojourn for the private stuff.”

Sharp’s previous releases as Momiji Studios include the Android game Cubey Sphere and PC game Lucid Awakening 1 and 2.

Sojourn is currently available for free for Android and iOS.

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