Tether

When was the last time you called your mom? Or sent your grandma a card? Or emailed the coworkers from your last job?

If you’re like me, then friends and family are more important to you than anything, but you don’t spend nearly enough time letting them know that. I sympathize with you; maintaining relationships is more difficult and time-consuming than ever. As the world gets smaller, it seems like social networks just keep getting bigger and bigger: extended family, high school friends, college friends, old coworkers. And for each person that you want to stay in touch with, there’s an more and more ways of connecting with them. Should you email them? Send them a text? Snapchat them? It’s enough to overwhelm anybody. And when something overwhelms me, I tend to procrastinate it, which is just about the worst way to maintain relationships. In the best case, the pressure of not talking with someone builds up until I feel morally obligated to respond with something over-the-top. In the worst case, the pressure gets so high that the relationship dies and we slowly fall out of touch.

The fact of the matter is, keeping in touch with people doesn’t have to be difficult. As with most habits, it just has to be consistently maintained. That doesn’t mean skimping on quality – every relationship needs a bedrock of face-to-face time – but these intensely personal experiences should be complimented with other types of interaction. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming; as I’m sure any significant other can tell you, sometimes it’s just enough to let someone know that they were on your mind. Science tells us that when it comes to these pick-me-ups, predictability is as important as quality. In other words, sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.

Tether is the smart, simple app that helps you stay in touch with your friends and family. Think of it like a regular messaging app, except instead of ordering your conversations by recency, it orders them by importance. How does Tether know what’s important? It’s starts by making an educated guess based on context. Old friend in town? Tether thinks you should hang out. Cousin just had a baby? Tether thinks you should recommend a crib. Superbowl coming up? Tether thinks you should set up a bet with your coworker.

Tether gets smarter as you use it, by customizing its schedule to match your style. Tether does this implicitly, but you can also do it explicitly by snoozing conversations, or by setting a per-contact goal: weekly, monthly, or half-yearly. On the inside, Tether takes all of this feedback, and creates a custom schedule just for you.

The point of this schedule is to help you build a habit. The way most people manage relationships is in bursts; we wait until there’s a lot of people that we want to talk to and then we message them all at once. This is un-ideal for many reasons. In addition to being stressful, this strategy leads to lower-quality connections, and certain people being forgotten. The ideal way to use Tether is for 5-15 minutes a day, depending on how many people you’re trying to keep in touch with. This spreads the effort of maintaining relationships out over many days, and allows you to focus more on each relationship individually.

When you sign up for Tether you start with just 10 contacts, and a simple goal of spending 10 minutes every two days catching up with them. To foster this kind of sustainable usage, Tether has a leveling system built into it. As you level up, you get the opportunity to expand to more contacts, and more time-intensive schedules. Your Tether schedule should always feel manageable. The goal is to make sure that maintaining relationships is never overwhelming.

Tether is simple. With Tether, there’s only one “Send” button. When you add a new contact, you pre-select the service that you want to use to contact them. Then, in Tether, each message is written in the same interface.

Sometimes the hardest part about talking to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time is know what to talk about. Personally, I know this is something that stresses me out, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t really matter what you say. It matters more that you’re saying it. Still, Tether wants to help you foster high-quality conversations. Tether integrates with Pocket and Evernote, so that you can easily save the things that you think are interesting, and share them later. Need a conversation starter? Tether integrates with content providers like Youtube and Spotify, so you can share that funny video or awesome song you just found. Just want to say hello? Tether has a carefully curated selection of images, gifs, and memes that can brighten anyone’s day. Tether tries to make staying in touch with people as hassle-free as possible.

Tether is the smart, simple app that helps you stay in touch with your friends and family.

 Tether for Business

If you love using Tether to help maintain your personal relationships, then you’re in luck! You can also use Tether to help manage your professional relationships.

We know that maintaining professional relationships is difficult. While you’re out pushing the envelope, it’s easy to forget something like a client’s birthday, or a coworker just got back from vacation. These lapses don’t hurt anyone, but they certainly don’t help anyone either. Why not take advantage of these opportunities to foster closer relationships with those you work with.

In addition to the beautiful Tether interface that you know and love, Tether for business comes with:

Interested in Tether? Then I’d love to hear from you! Tweet me @jomrcr.

Bibliography

[1] The Health Benefits of Strong Relationships

[2] Why Personal Relationships Are Important

 
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