The website description for Achvr reads: “helps you live a happier life by achieving first-time experiences.” Achvr, an app developed by Boston College graduates, enables users to share different achievements with their friends.
Achvr allows you to track things you have done, from activities as monumental as traveling to outer space or being a CEO to simple tasks like catching a fish or watching the Lion King (come to think of it, that’s pretty monumental). You receive points for each, which, as the description says, is “like rewarding yourself for living a fuller life.” The app synchs with your location to offer activity suggestions and deals in your area. You can also create a to-do list for the future and a journal to recount past experiences.
By joining through Facebook, you can compete with friends on the leaderboard. While turning your bucket list into a competition with friends may seem a little superficial, it is undoubtedly a motivator for those that may need an extra push to accomplish their goals. However, the point system may leave users feeling uncertain. It takes personal goals and accomplishments and ranks them against others. Doing this runs of the risk of trivializing tasks that may have taken a person a lifetime, like running a marathon or being a published author.
The latter is worth only 50 points, leading to another one of Achvr’s problems: how do you quantify what these experiences are worth? “Get hitched,” for example, is somehow worth only ten points, the same amount as building a sand castle or playing a dodge ball game. Is marriage really on that level? Having a baby, more reasonably, is appointed 100 points. This system contributes to the competition portion of the app, but may contradict a person’s perspective on what is most important for them to accomplish in their lifetime.
Despite the points system, one of the app’s strengths is its focus on both the big and small. It reminds us of the importance of little things: seeing your kids off on their first day of school, building a snowman, planting a rose garden. While we rarely consider everyday activities as something for the “bucket list,” scrolling through the app’s 15 categories and hundreds of listings makes you realize just how much you’ve done. Not necessarily things of note (yes, I shamelessly checked off “travel to Connecticut” despite the fact that I live there), but memories nonetheless.
Achvr is a great way for BC students to keep track of their Boston/BC bucket list, too. With activities like attending the Boston Marathon, tailgating at the beginning and end of a BC football game and getting a drink at Mary Ann’s, this app provides a great way for students to organize their goals and motivate one another to accomplish them before graduation.
All images courtesy of The Gavel.