Digital diary

Reviews | Why a digital newspaper will change your life

Day One creates something so rare it almost seems sacred: a totally private digital space.

The best way to describe this feeling is to compare it to friendship. I feel comfortable preparing for the first day as I would with a close friend whom I trust completely. What I write there, I hope no one alive today will ever read it. (However, there are ways to pass your password on to your heirs, so someone can read your journal in, say, 50 years from now; your entire journal can be exported as a PDF file or printed as a book. .)

I found this feeling of intimacy to be invaluable and liberating. The app feels like an oasis on your phone, one of the few digital spaces that gives you a mental space for contemplation and consideration – to think about the world more deeply than as the raw material for clickbaity memes.

Some of these benefits don’t relate specifically to day one, but to journaling more generally. Like meditation – another new-agey practice that has become my daily life-changing jam – journaling has been shown to be good for the mind and body, reduce stress and anxiety, improve interpersonal relationships and promote creativity. If you are already a regular journalist, you may not find much use on day one; my wife, who kept a journal of dead trees for much of her life, found the application practical but innocuous, lacking the organic and precious warmth of recording her thoughts on paper.

I understand. But for me, a digital newspaper offers several advantages over paper. Ease of access matters – Day One works wherever you take your phone, even when you don’t have an internet connection, so you can type a newspaper while you queue at the supermarket or on top of a mountain . And because so much is happening on screens now, Day One offers greater fidelity to everyday life. Instead of describing the insane conversation I had with my coworker, I can just post a screenshot.

And then there are all the glories of photography, which adds an emotional weight to the rigidity of the text. A few months ago, after a particularly brutal parenting failure that made me and my child cry, I found myself slumped on the bathroom floor, staring at the toilet while typing a diary entry. . Seen from this angle, I noticed that the toilet looked a bit like a very sad face. It was all I was feeling at the time. And so I took a photo and added it to my post – saving for posterity a little moment that I otherwise would have forgotten, forever.

Here is this photo of the toilet. It always makes me sad. But I’m so glad to have it.