If the fact that I couldn’t stop wheeze-laughing through intensely dramatic confession scenes in romance movies like The Fault in Our Stars and Call Me By Your Name wasn’t the first indication that I have some emotional screws loose, then I think this post will do it.
This year, I added a creative writing certificate for no logical reason. The certificate wouldn’t accelerate my degree progress. It wouldn’t help land me a job. It didn’t showcase a unique interest I didn’t already demonstrate. So, when someone in my creative writing class asked about my motivation behind applying for the certificate, I was woefully unprepared for anything to come out of my mouth beyond a stock “I like writing.”
Him: What made you decide to take the certificate?
Me: You know, one day I just realized I’m going to die.
Me: It was like, I thought “I’m going to die and… that’s it. Then nothing.”
Me: … Um. So I thought, you know, might as well.
Two weeks left in the semester this guy finally decides to talk to me and, within the five-minute walk from the English building to the business school, I proved why he should’ve kept the streak.
The other day, I was relaying this incident to my friend to support my point that I need to plan out things I say because disaster ensues when I veer off script. I expected him to respond with something comforting like “you’re reasonable most of the time.” Instead, he pulled out an app called WeCroak, which my story had apparently reminded him to show me.
You know those apps that send you daily motivational quotes or uplifting affirmations like “you’re beautiful” or “don’t change yourself for anyone?” Well, apparently there’s demand on the opposite end of the spectrum: daily reminders of your mortality.
Let me just unpack this. WeCroak is an app that helps you “contemplate your mortality.” It sends you five notifications a day with messages starting with “Don’t forget, you’re going to die. Open for a quote.”
The app description itself about killed me. When I got to the part where it said the notifications “come at random times and at any moment just like death,” I think I might’ve actually started crying. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a while.
My Absolute Favorites
- “People are born soft and weak. They die hard and stiff.”
- “To get out of your anger, you can close your eyes and visualize the other person in 300 years. What will they become? Ash. And you too.”
- “You only die once. And for so long.”
Once I calmed down enough to ask my friend, who uses the app seriously, what he got out of WeCroak, I noticed the app was for ages 4+, which set me off again. My friend patiently explained that WeCroak isn’t encouraging people to wallow in a nihilism pity party until they croak; contemplating your mortality is supposed to make you appreciate life and become happier from spurring needed change, acceptance, and letting go. The philosophy has origins in Bhutan and has appeared in The Atlantic and The New York Times.
I thought that made sense, albeit strangely, and told my friend as much. He encouraged me to download WeCroak. Unsure whether I really needed more reminders of my impending demise, I wavered and ultimately decided it probably wouldn’t hurt to try. I scrolled back up to the top to download the app.
And then I saw it was 99 cents and immediately exited the App Store.
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