Chalk Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ and ‘Friendversary’ alerts up to good intentions with not-so-great planning. I typically enjoy the former, if for nothing else than to see how much cooler I used to be before I turned 30. The latter, I’ve never been a fan of. Algorithmically-generated video leaves a lot to be desired, and I typically skip them entirely.
A mild inconvenience for me has the potential to be much worse for others.
That guy that traded your limited edition Hello Kitty dinnerware for meth? Welcome to annual reminders of your first date at Hooters — seriously, you didn’t know he was a scumbag when he took you to Hooters for your first date?
Random girl you met at a bar and talked to for all of eight minutes? Happy friendversary; you’ve now been connected for three years — although you’ve still only talked that one time.
Oh, or there’s that time your dog died — what a great opportunity to remind you of the steak you cooked him for his last meal.
It’s a nice thought, sure. But hitting people in the feels via algorithm has just as much potential to backfire as it does to go right. For every “aww, we’ve been best friends for 8 years ” there’s another “hey, that dude still owes me $20.”
Luckily, Joanna Stern from WSJ has you covered.
For ‘On This Day’ alerts tap the hamburger menu (the three horizontal lines) on mobile and scroll down to On This Day. From there, you’ll hit the gear icon in the upper right > Preferences > Dates. Now, you just have to add a date — or range of dates — you don’t want to see and hit save. You can, of course, eliminate them all by setting the range to the day/year you joined Facebook.
For ‘friendversary’ videos, you’ll go to the same menu mentioned above and type in the names of your Facebook friends you’d rather forget existed. Hit save to finish. Sadly this only allows you to forget them on Facebook, not real life.