From the Series
When I Think About You I Text Myself is a human intervention that takes place in the form of a text message. Founded by New York-based artist Hanny Ahern and technologist Chris Allick, the platform offers a hotline for surrogate text messages. Users can send their personal or emotional messages to a number found on the projects website, getting an emotional release without the social repurcusions.
In the heat of the moment, especially after a few drinks, it is all to easy too send a message that you might later regret. An angry message to a colleague, a desperate message to an unrequited love, a petty message to a lover. Most people will know the anxious feeling the morning after one of those messages has been sent. But this platform offers a creative solution to prevent damage to the ego and the emotions.
Messages received by the project remain anonymous, and are sent back to the writer after a period of three, six, nine or twelve months so that the “contributor” can review their thoughts long after the impulse has passed. Knowing that there might be a response is the most seductive part of sending a message, whether or not the response comes from a human or a machine.
Its creators call When I Think About You I Text Myself a message-in-a-bottle approach to finding poetic expression, voice and grace in a moment of need. Modern life has made us addicted to the immediate, temporary highs that technological connections provide for us. Smartphone notifications are said to release the significant amounts of dopamine (the hormone linked to reward and pleasure) in the brain. And similar amounts of stress hormones.
Ahern found that most of the messages are related to love, and the most common expression was a version of “I miss you”. The message platform provided a soothing ear for those with secret crushes and hopes for the revival of old relationships. There were of course plenty of angry messages too.
At the moment this service is only available in the US.