Dutch entrepreneur Marc Oparq is paving the way for a new generation of websites that intend to focus on the restoration of intimate, one-on-one connection. |
When one thinks of the term “social media” what comes to mind? No matter who you are, how old, or where you live, the answer is likely “Facebook.”
Although the social networking giant has only been around for nine years, Facebook has quickly become the face of a new generation. Children are growing up online, documenting their every move. Relationships are being defined by the status of one’s digital profile. Photo albums are now the public scrapbooks of the future. Phone calls are traded for SMS and coffee shop conversations for video chats. Content is shared with abandon as photos, videos and messages are posted for the world to see.
The ubiquity and widespread use of Facebook has brought forth myriad privacy issues, helping to blur the line between our personal lives and online identities. The digital universe is losing touch with real, interpersonal relationships. The more Facebook "Friends" one accumulates does by no means gauge their true popularity, social skill and happiness. Despite Facebook’s avid endorsement of data distribution, the Internet lacks a true outlet for sincere and confidential interaction.
This is where our PassedOn comes in.
In short, PassedOn is a social enterprise where people can upload and save important thoughts, wishes and multimedia for the ones they love. Be it a personal message from the heart, a love confession, a late apology or a long-kept secret; PassedOn is a web-based global initiative for those who wish to create “eWills,” or Emotional Wills, and ensure that their most important memories will be carefully protected, shared, and cherished forever -- completely free of charge.
The creation of an eWill bestows upon the user a seemingly unlimited amount of creative and practical applications. Regardless of one’s background – teacher, parent, student or soldier – an eWill is the perfect vessel to communicate life’s most powerful sentiments, interactions, and recollections to loved ones. Simply create a profile for someone you wish to one day share your life with and start uploading photos, videos, songs and messages. The diversity and significance of an eWill is limited only to one’s imagination.
The motivation for PassedOn, and a term our passionate group behind the website like to call "Intimedia," originated from this lack of intimacy. The core ideology of Intimedia is rooted in the belief that it is time to restore the quality of human communication to a more wholesome state. Unlike the casual and even encouraged mass dissemination of information that comes with having a Facebook account, PassedOn strives to generate the opposite effect by helping its members appreciate life's most fleeting moments and the special individuals they have spent them with in a private and highly secure channel.
While the reception of our concept has been reassuringly positive, it is always a challenge to grow an idea from the ground up. As with any radical concept, people by nature tend to reject change and as a result (or perhaps coping mechanism) associate the agent in question -- however explicitly different -- with something familiar for the sake of comfort. With that said, comparisons to Facebook are constantly being made -- it cannot be helped. However, we remain steadfast in our conviction that PassedOn is a game changer, and it is time for a change.
As our initiative will continue to breathe, expand and evolve into a universal concept adopted by a mainstream audience, it will usher in a whole new paradigm of websites. These sites will reroute the thought patterns of the general public and urge people to think about the unintended effects of over-sharing with the people around them, giving individuals an opportunity to juxtapose the degree of privacy between PassedOn and sites like Facebook.
Hopefully, it will allow us to recognize just how meaningful our personal moments are, and to refrain from openly handing them over to Facebook’s dictatorial privacy and content policies. In this day and age, they say there is no such thing as a new idea. At PassedOn, we beg to differ.
Marc Oparq, the brainchild behind “Intimedia,” is a Dutch serial entrepreneur living with his wife and family in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He actively runs several businesses in the hospitality management, resort and retail industry. This article was co-written by him and PassedOn Concept Manager, Michael Olson.
Related Articles -
lifestyle, relationships, parenting, mother, father, social media, media, news, internet, technology,