Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Thanks for the Memories (Or Not)

Did something like this happen to you yesterday?

Yesterday I worked, walked with my spouse, and shared what we had done towards our goal of moving his mother up here closer to us, and caring for her needs, discussed our next trip to go down to her, and tried to problem solve.

I came home, opened up Facebook, and was greeted with a helpful "memory".  It was on top of my wall, and it said "[My name], we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you'd like to look back at this post from two years ago."  It gave me two options:  share, and see more.

The photo it showed me was harmless in and of itself.  It was a picture I took of country singer Leann Rimes performing at the 2013 Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally in Binghamton. But there was no Spiedie Fest for me this year.

That's not what bothered me about this, though.  (Well, let's be honest.  It did bother me a little.  It was a gorgeous weekend.  People at work yesterday were raving about how gorgeous it was.  But, as the saying goes, whatever.  I hope to experience more gorgeous weekends in the future, life willing.  Not everyone I know will have that opportunity, and I am fortunate.)

But:  who is to say which memories should be brought up and reshared?  Me? Or Facebook?

So, out of curiosity, I clicked on "see more".

What Facebook is wanting me to give them permission for them to send me notification of memories.  It gave me a sample of my postings onto my wall from "on this day" in 2014, and 2010.

No thank you.

Facebook only does things to make money.  This is a capitalist country, so nothing wrong with that, but they are not going to make money off helping me remember.

You know, Facebook, my mind does a good job of this, thank you very much.  I spent some 45 years without the Internet and I haven't forgotten how to remember.  If I want to remember, I can go out to my friend's timelines.  Or mine.  Or take out some old photos. 

There may be good uses for this feature- perhaps it will help families whose members struggle with dementia, for example.  Right now, thankfully, we are not one of them.

But...there is something about this I am not comfortable with.

I am not putting Facebook in charge of my memories so they can somehow make money off of it.

What do you think?


  1. I am not on Facebook. I am a holdout. But all folks ever tell me about is something they saw on Facebook. It's like it controls their lives. Plus, I cannot even comment on local news sites because I am not on Facebook.

  2. Hmm, you have an interesting point of view about Facebook memory jogs. I guess I am not that familiar with the business side of FB because I can't figure out how it makes money from this "feature". I am curious now, though.
    Aside from that, I actually like the reminders of my past postings. I do a lot of "aww's" and "oh my's". For me, it's almost like the diary that I always promise myself I will keep up, but never do.

  3. I signed up for the daily memories, and I rather like it. It does remind me of some fun things I had forgotten we'd done, such as celebrating "Pi Approximation Day" (July 22) with my son 5 years ago, or when I planted something, or a food I experimented making and liked, but then forgot about . . . I think of it more as a reminder of things we've done, kind of like going through an old photo album, and saying, "Oh, remember how much fun we had doing that?" Also, I really try hard to post only positive things on FB, so I'm unlikely to come across something that might upset me or make me sad (aside from the nostalgia of seeing my kids at younger ages!)

  4. Facebook came up with this feature to compete with an app called Timehop. Timehop searches all your social media (or, rather, all the accounts you tell it about), and brings up your posts from last year, two years ago, etc. I use Timehop, I like it. I like how it brings up thing s I may have forgotten, how it triggers memories.

    but clearly it's not everyone's cup of tea. Good to have choices, though.

  5. I have to agree. I am not a fan of any company directing my thoughts in any way. Facebook is fairly intrusive in a few ways.

  6. Oh, is that why I keep seeing these throwback posts on FB? I was wondering where they came from. Why these people suddenly brought those up.

    I haven't been getting them. But then again, I rarely post anything on FB. Just my blog posts and the occasional "hey, [specific person], look at this".

    Every bit of technology brings good things and bad things at the same time...

  7. I don't like Facebook taking over any part of my life. I want to use it--not have it use me.

  8. Interesting! And I get your point. It's not just about sharing memories. Not everything can be generalized to a memory that I can share with others in future.

  9. Interesting! And I get your point. It's not just about sharing memories. Not everything can be generalized to a memory that I can share with others in future.

  10. Oh I didn't know Facebook makes money out of sharing our memories with us..Interesting! But yes the larger point that we don't need facebook to remind us of our memories is so true!

  11. I buy your point. However, i like this feature of facebook. Maybe cos i have only pleasant memories in fb.


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