Have you ever gazed at the moon one night, and had the surreal feeling of someone halfway around the world, standing at their window and doing the same? Or, for a less flowery example, what about the people who might be reading this article at this moment, just as you’re doing?
Tworlds by Noodlewerk is an app based upon this immense sense of organic human connection. The name itself, an elegant composite of ‘two’ and ‘worlds’, illustrates the momentary fusion of two strangers’ spheres of life. According to Tworlds’ manifesto, the app offers “unpolished glimpses into someone else’s reality”, and “responds to the current visual culture” of competitive, narcissistic image-sharing.
How does it work? You first snap a picture based on one of 26 available themes — #love, #travel, and #work are some examples. The app will instantly present you with a related image alongside yours, snapped by an anonymous person in the same moment. The only things you’ll know about this person are their city, country, and that single instant of time in which your two lives ran parallel.
What truly sets Tworlds apart from other image-sharing platforms like Instagram is its emphasis on anonymity and realism. You won’t be able to edit your photos or use pre-snapped ones from your gallery — the aim of the app is genuine connection, without the comparisons and envy that the usual carefully curated Instagram photos bring about. Think of all those studies that’ve been done on Facebook’s ‘friendly world syndrome‘ — the more we browse Facebook, the unhappier we get, because everyone else’s photos seem to show that they have a far more awesome life than ours. Of course, the app does still let you share your photos on social media, if you want.
Even if this all sounds too psychological — personally, I have doubts about how much “contemplation and reflection” can come about from #cat-themed photos — the concept behind Tworlds is unique and worth trying out. Instead of posting your next picture to the same old social networks, why not see what someone in Canada or Paris is up to?