First, there was the hand-drawn "Gone Fishin'" sign in the window. Then the answering machine and voicemail. Next came the ubiquitous out-of-office email. As our communication behavior evolves, so too have our tools for telling other people we're not around right now. Swedish ad agency Rodolfo decided to take things to the next logical step, just in time for the holidays.
The shop has created "Relaxed," an app that functions as an auto-reply for your life on social media. You want to take that long walk in a winter wonderland, but what if you miss a few Twitter DMs? Your Facebook page could be getting swamped with messages while you're over there roasting chestnuts on an open fire. The new app claims to solve these dilemmas by sending a nice little reply to all those people automatically.
Rodolfo first tried out the idea on a smaller scale in its native Sweden last summer and utilized its in-house psychologist Niklas Laninge to help on the project. "For Relaxed, I did a lot of research on digital stress, if it's actually a problem and if so, what's causing it, and what are some of the consequences," says Laninge. "Of course we're not curing depression with an app like this but I think the idea is beneficial when it comes to reducing some of the everyday stress that social media can cause."
That or annoy every single one of your followers and friends. Either way.
[Image: Flickr user Ivan McClellan]