Glance Back is a daily photo diary, capturing the moments shared between you and your computer. Once a day, when you open a new tab, Glance Back will unexpectedly take your photo, ask you what you’re thinking about, and save both the photo and written thought to its locally stored archive.
You know that feeling when someone is staring at you for a really long time? It’s super uncomfortable right? Especially if this gaze is unreciprocated. Glance Back grew out of a desire to recognize that this phenomenon occurs between ourselves and our machines when we spend so much time looking at our screen.
With this chrome extension, once a day at random when you open a new tab, Glance Back will quickly snap a photo of you and inquire: “What are you thinking about?”. Once you type your answer and press enter, the photo and thought will be collectively saved to your history of glances, cumulatively creating an archive of moments you share with your screen. Given that most of the digital photos we generate of ourselves today are highly curated (i.e. wait let me fix my hair and smile and please take at least 10 photos just to make sure there’s a good one!), Glance Back also acts as an antidote to this attitude by providing you with unexpected and often… unflattering… photos of yourself.
It’s important to note that all of the photos are saved to your browser’s local storage. This means that they never leave your machine. This is a collection shared purely between you and your computer. If you want the photos for yourself, you can choose to download them under the settings tab in the top right. You can also delete photos from the archive and choose whether the extension requires you to write a caption or not.
When using our devices, we’re pulled into and solely focused on the glowing world that exists on the screen. We lose both an awareness of self and of the real world context surrounding us. This extension aims to disrupt that trance and remind you that you are here and your computer is there and you are just staring at it and... wow is that really what I look like right now?