Back to the Future


This week is not one that I have looked forward to for the past three years. Today marks the anniversary of the death of my partner from an accidental fall. The sudden ripping away of her life from mine was terrible and still resonates through my being. Some days more than others, of course. It has softened and I have made many strides in building a new life and finding my new normal including finding new love.

But, I still dread this week. And part of that dread is because of technology. Primarily Timehop and Facebook Memories or On This Day (which came along after TImehop as best as I can tell).

I had enjoyed and have enjoyed seeing little reminders of what I had posted in years past. Reminders of fun times like holiday parties, Father’s or Mother’s Day, travels and adventures. Interestingly, there has been some research about nostalgia and it does promote several positive outcomes.

But, this week, I get reminders of a death. Of memorials. Of condolences. It kinda sucks.

And, my thoughts have turned to the families of those who have also lost loved ones so suddenly this week. Last year in Charleston, South Carolina in a church. Sunday of this week in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As I saw my own TImehops appear and I knew what was coming today, I fast forwarded in my mind to what those families from Charleston were seeing this week from a year ago. And I also am thinking about what the families and friends of the 49 victims from this week’s shooting will be seeing a year from now. Will they find these “forced” trips down memory lane helpful or hurtful. I guess it could go either way.

I have written what feels like a lot about technology after death on this blog in the past three years. I hope some of it has been helpful to someone. Maybe. Maybe not. It gave me something to focus on at the time and, thus, it was helpful to me. But, this “memories technology” may or may not be helpful. I wish there was a way to selectively let Facebook or Timehop know that I don’t want the memories from a certain day or time period. Perhaps in a few years, it will be okay to see those memories. But, I would rather have the control. I guess I can uninstall Timehop. Right now, I just don’t open it on my iPad. However, it seems like this is something that would benefit form more granular control. Of course, we cannot granularly control our own memories so perhaps I am asking too much.


UPDATE (June 23, 2016):

I did some poking around in Facebook and found that you can indeed add a filter to their memories function (called “On This Day”). Facebook added this function this past fall, apparently.

Here is how to filter those memories either by person or by specific dates:

  1. Point your browser to
  2. Click Preferences
    • To edit for specific people: Click Edit next to People and enter the names of the people you don’t want to see memories with
    • To edit by specific dates Click Edit next to Dates and choose start and end dates for when you don’t want to see memories, then click Done

Haven’t found that same function within Timehop as of yet. I would bet it is coming.