Why I Spent the Covid-19 Quarantine Developing an App
You’ve been there, you’re emotionally exhausted from “parenting” but you still want to teach your kids to do the right thing. It had been three weeks since our son’s birthday, and our umpteenth attempt to get him to sit down and write thank you cards for the presents he had received from friends and family.
We live in the heart of the Silicon Valley where money is abundant and spent freely like in a casual game of Monopoly. My husband and I have had to work extra hard to teach our kids to be grateful, whether it be for a newly purchased video game that they “had” to have or a pair of designer sneakers that they will outgrow in less than a year.
You may have noticed, gratitude and humility seem to be in short supply lately, as are happiness and contentment. According to psychological research, there is a reason for this: gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, improve our health, and better deal with adversity.
So here we were, threatening and bargaining with our strong willed child to write “just three cards today” (don’t judge our parenting; desperate times call for desperate measures). As he ignored us and continued to make silly videos with my iPhone, I said, “I wish he could just make and send video thank you’s.” My husband jokingly replied, “There should be an app for that.”
We started daydreaming of an app that allowed us to send tasteful digital greeting cards with personal videos “inside” them; not just thank you cards, but also other kindness-spreading video messages like “I Miss You”, “Happy Birthday”, etc. Our son would love it; kids and people in general enjoy making and being in videos.
It would go something like this: Open the app, choose a unique card design, record a video message (“Hi Grandma. Thank you for this cool racetrack you got me. I love you”), enter a phone number or an email address, hit Send. DONE! How easy would that be?! It would be a win-win for all! We imagined my mother, hundreds of miles away, getting a text or email from us, opening a digital card that revealed a cute video from her beloved grandkid. Surely she’d enjoy it more than a written card with handwriting she can barely read. Yes, there should be an app for this!
Eventually, my son’s written cards were completed and mailed, and life went on. But the idea of the app kept nagging us. We owe it to fellow parents to help save some of their sanity with a simple, direct, easy to use app, right? And what if our digitally-dependent, “selfie” culture could still be kind and grateful but just in a more “modern” way? We old timers may not like it, but let’s face it, hand writing seems to be out of fashion while sharing pictures and videos of yourself are very in (I’m looking at you Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok).
When the world came to a stop due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, I found myself with time on my hand and a great idea for an app. I had no software development experience since I am a building architect by trade, so I decided to put together a small team of computer professionals who would help me realize my dream. Together we began building the app and what we ended up with truly exceeded my exceptions; an app that is so intuitive, beautiful, and easy to use, even when you are in a sleep-deprived, exhausted state. We gave it a name as straightforward as the app itself: VidCard.
And, of course, we included all kinds of other occasions (in addition to Thank You’s) so you can spread the love throughout the year, especially in this tough time away from loved ones: Thinking of You, Happy Birthday, Friendship, and many more. You will be surprised by how much easier it is to speak earnestly in a video than it is to express your feelings in written cards.
We are so excited that VidCard is now available for everyone on the Apple App Store. Give it a try and let us know what you think. We would love to hear your suggestions about how we can improve it!