With Facebook’s recent and widely publicized data security breach, it is no surprise that many people are looking for new ways to stay connected with those they care about the most. Interestingly, the move away from current social media platforms has been coming for some time, long before the recent data mining fiasco. People have started to realise that maintaining healthy relationships requires more than a ‘like’, and that the emoji response to a post has started to replace meaningful conversations.
That is the premise behind the new app, Garden: Stay In Touch. They say that friends are like flowers, and we have all been told at some point that to make your flowers grow you need to talk to them. Turns out that is true about relationships too.
Social Media Truths
Entrepreneur Alexander Adell created Garden in response to his own neglected personal relationships. The application seeks to close the gap between reacting to a friend’s post, and actually making the effort to contact them. As there are apps for everything, and you can play at an online casino, learn a new language, discover crazy facts or chart your fitness, Adell’s idea is a novel one.
People have become so busy that an immense amount of time can pass before we realise that we have not spoken with an important person in our lives for months. Platforms like Facebook have created a false sense of communication, because we know what is happening in each other’s lives, we just saw the pictures of the new born, that is, whoops, already 6 months old. We are living our lives as if we have had conversations and cultivated close relationships that do not actually exist.
A New Application Is Born
After losing a close friend while working on a previous start- up called Doorman, which is now closed, Adell started to track his interactions with friends and family on a spreadsheet so he could see when he had last seen or spoken with them. When he discovered that other people were using the same technique, he came up with the idea for Garden.
Essentially Garden works as a mobile CRM (Client Relationship Manager) app, or rather a PRM (Personal Relationship Manager) app. Certainly not a new idea, but definitely a new application. Garden allows you to set notifications to contact anyone in your phone’s contact list at daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual intervals. In addition, you can make notes about your last discussion or important details to refer to, we assume, before your next scheduled conversation, or set an important date for your next contact notification. Although you have to do the work of contacting those you want to keep in touch with, once you have inputted any important details into the notes feature, getting tied up in day to day living won’t be detrimental to those relationships anymore.
Could Garden Be The New In Contact App?
Like most apps of this nature, Garden: Stay In Touch needs to access all your contacts in order to work its magic. This raises obvious privacy concerns, and with people’s current focus on the security of their personal details, this could be quite a turn off. However, in response to concerns raised, Adell has stated that Garden is hosted by AWS (Amazon Web Services) and all the data transfers are encrypted with secure cloud storage.
At present the application is available for free download in the iOS store, but may support in-app advertisements in the future. Adell bootstrapped the application himself, so perhaps as it grows in popularity, an upgrade will include the ability to add individual contacts instead of the blanket access the application currently requires.
Now you know, if you need to tend to your friends, then you need Garden!