Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by Facebook memories.
They pop up in my Facebook alerts every morning, and often, like a car crash, I can’t look away.
The thought has come to me that they are no more than an evil plot by corporate booger-heads to keep us emotionally weak and wanting for digital reassurance via Trump memes and recipe videos.
For me, the last 10 years have been some of the most dynamic of my life. And without realizing it, I was creating a journal of my days on the dreaded Facebook that now comes back to haunt me each morning.
Sometimes, my posts were embarrassing—why did I take that sexy selfie and put it out there for all the world to see? Sometimes they were silly (I’m talking to you, Chewbacca Mom), but I’ve found that, for the most part, they are giving me a thoughtful insight into what my life was like at a different time and in different circumstances. And I’ve chosen to take that little moment each day as I’m scrolling through to learn a little bit more about myself and how I’ve grown.
Here are my steps for taking the sting out of your morning Facebook routine:
Step 1: Celebrate your milestones. Remember when you got that promotion? Started that new job? Bought that new condo? Think back to that moment and the happiness you felt. Try not to dwell on only the future sadness that it brought—okay, so the promotion ended up leading you down a road you weren’t ready to take, or your new job was terrible and ended badly. While we must accept the bittersweet, we can simultaneously enjoy the candy filling. Wasn’t that a glorious moment?
Step 2: Take some time to send out some love to friends who are gone. I don’t mean dead, although it’s possible those souls are there, too. I mean the friends you’ve lost touch with, fallen out with, broken up with. At some point, Stephanie from your dorm was the most fun and your drunken nights at the corner pub were epic! Take a beat and just remember the fun and happiness you had with that person. Wish them well in your heart, and then move on.
Step 3: Laugh. At. Yourself. This is my favorite. I have a friend who randomly reposts her 2009 posts for our entertainment pleasure. Before there were memes and tagged photos, in a time of pokes and throwing sheep, her Facebook wall read like a stream of consciousness. Back then she was single, childless, and thought the world needed to know her random thoughts like, “How I shall spend the last day of 2009? I think I’ll go to Kmart…haven’t been there in a while,” or “Happy to be home but not happy to be up so early and going to work.” Ah, simpler times.
Step 4: Be grateful for unanswered prayers. I enjoy watching the existential crises I was having about my life and my relationships. Hello girl, that man was not worth it. I spent all of 2010 cryptically complaining and setting booby traps for attention. Sure, there was a lot of pain, but I won’t let that seep in—instead I will giggle at my naiveté and sit here happy, knowing that life got better.
Step 5: Don’t wallow. I can quickly fall into a shame spiral when I’m looking at my past. But instead, I use it as a tool to build myself up and congratulate myself on how I’ve grown. Keep your head up and keep facing forward. Your past will continue to help shape you. Loving yourself is loving even the ugly crevices that you’d rather stay hidden. Instead, celebrate it for what it is, and keep moving.
A couple more—one that you probably needed to read, and one that’s just for fun: