There once was an app. Just a small orange and yellow icon on my phone.
But like the Doctor’s Tardis, it was bigger on the inside. The app contained a world and the world contained people and places and conversations sprinkled with the occasional knitting pattern and a recipe for something delicious.
It was a place to share, and talk, and learn. I met real people from all over the world and we shared things, not just pithy things like London’s best pear danish (though that’s awfully important stuff), but cultural things like Iceland’s yule lads, important things like education in Africa, and exhilarating things like roller coasters and skydiving. We talked. We kindly and diplomatically shared opinions. We saw real life happening through our friends so we worried and we prayed. We smiled at triumphs like the end of the riots in Egypt, the opening of a new shop, birthdays, holidays, and the completion of a new guest house that we all hope to visit. We let our guard down and opened our hearts to people that we may never meet face to face, but we love just as much.
That was Livemapp. That’s the world that Mat Jackson created.
In this time of worry that technology may cause us to become disconnected from true social interactions, I was blessed to be a part of an app that brought people together. It was my “good morning” time over a cup of coffee when I shared my travels and culture while getting a glimpse into the lives, trips, and cultures of others all over the world. It was different because it was so genuine. We somehow got to know each other quite well, celebrating births, birthdays, and weddings.
I suppose that’s what makes this difficult now. With the tragic loss of the founder we called friend, came the loss of the app that connected us. While we’ve spent the last four years worrying and celebrating and sharing together, now we all mourn alone. It’s quiet and so very sad.
Honored to have been asked, today I wrapped up a small video compilation of photos and words and sent it to London via Dropbox where it will join others, give comfort, and portray just a small part of what a wonderful man Mat Jackson was and the legacy that still is.
Prayers for his family and friends as they mourn his loss.
I can see the world in pictures, but it remains flat. It’s when those pictures connect to a person that a dialog ensues and the picture begins to take shape. Those connections make the world real, and round, and beautiful. It shows us how we are connected to each other, how we are different, but also how we’re the same. Mat did that. He was a friend behind those photos and he brought people together – crazy, wonderful, people from diverse places, ages, and backgrounds. He created a home and a conversation that is real and palpable and seeded friendships that extend beyond an app on a phone. I shared my travels, my culture, and my dog. Mat Jackson shared the world.