Reminiscing is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s fantastic – you’re sharing a few wines with a friend and laughing so hard as you recall that funny thing that once happened. You know, when you were at a party and after nine vodka jellies, you thought it would be amusing to try to cop a feel of a celebrity’s bottom without him noticing. Seven times. (Um, sorry Dermot O’Leary.)
Then there’s the reminiscing that makes you cringe -your boss bringing up that time six years ago that you were so hungover after the office Christmas party, you didn’t come into work, and called her, crying and pathetic, to apologise profusely.
Of course, there’s also the reminiscing that makes you feel sad or angry. Remembering things that hurt you or times you found a struggle. It’s tempting to try to block those moments out, but I guess it’s all part of learning and growing (you know, ‘as a person’).
With the new Facebook profile page, Facebook Timeline, it’s become even easier to reminisce. So it’s no surprise that it’s been met with dread and joy in equal measures. You could say Facebook Timeline is a bit like Marmite. Well you could say that if you were one of those talentless auditionees on X Factor who can’t think of a better analogy (incidentally, it’s only ever really awful singers who describe themselves as being ‘like Marmite’ and it’s unlikely that anyone loves them, so really they should describe themselves as being ‘like dog poo’.)
Facebook Timeline allows you to scroll down through someone’s history, or pluck a month or year out of their Timeline to have a nice look at. Their graduation photos, wedding snaps, lovely messages left on their ‘wall’ (ahh, remember your Facebook Wall? Those were the days…) and status updates. Oh bugger. Status updates? From back in 2007, when we didn’t realise the full implications of social media? We can see those?
Yup – everyone can have a nice old look at that social media footprint you were making back in those innocent carefree days when we thought nothing of moaning about our relatives (well, it’s not like Dad will ever join this thing called Facebook, right?), bragging about pulling a sickie at work (why would I ever be ‘friends’ with my boss on here?) and having a bitter, gin-fuelled rant about being dumped (“Why me? I feel oh so alone right now” etc.)
Luckily, those kind people at Facebook HQ have given everyone seven days to play around with their Timeline before it publishes everything for your friends to see. Get deleting.
But if you’re in the ‘enjoy a walk down memory lane’ camp, with no drunken skeletons in the closet, you might also enjoy Timehop – a site that sends you a daily email telling you what you posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare on this day, one year ago. I signed up for it on 19th December and my first email, the following day, reminded me that one year earlier, I’d posted this on Facebook:
Which is lovely. However, since then, my main feeling, upon opening the daily email has been “Blimey. I post a lot of crap on Twitter, don’t I?”