Like many of my fellow millennials, you have probably been “lucky” enough to have your entire adulthood immortalized on the internet. AOL Chatrooms and MySpace anyone? If you had to have a college email address to create a Facebook account you can relive the best, and unfortunately the worst, of your memories. As ill advised as it is, I start my day off with looking at my phone, which inevitably means Facebook. Facebook before coffee needs to be a no-no (adds to my never ending list of things to accomplish).
The See Your Memories bait gets me every time. Yes, I know I should scrapbook, or print, and record. But seriously ain’t nobody got time for that. So every morning I eagerly wait to see what ridiculous problem the girl from today’s episode of on this day had in college, or feel homesick for her saying goodbyes and missing everyone’s milestones as she lived across an ocean, or envy photos of all the cool places she has traveled to, giggling about all the cute guys she knew, meeting her husband, falling in love, moving, birth of her kids, and finally her setting roots and finding a village. All her moments are there. A click away.
We also practice the art of the Facebook stalk. Don’t even pretend like you’ve never done it. This invasive look into your friend’s past may be a make or break kind of deal.You can learn a lot about someone before having to actually invest the time is connecting with them. And you know us millennials require our instant gratification. I totally stalked out and liked pictures at 2 a.m. from seven years ago of random chick in a cool shirt, and now I have a BFF. Or maybe you just realized you dodged a bullet. Either way it’s a great feature to have.
Your ugliest and hardest memories also get to resurface on this day, every year.
Statistically speaking in the 15 or so years, you’ve documented your life you’ve probably had a heart breaking relationship end, lost a loved one, lost a child, lost a parent. The heartbreaking reality of our pasts is we all have scars. We are all connected in tragedy. Notifications of those memories every year are the posts I dread the most. But then we also get to see all the happiness and newness in between. Visual evidence that life goes on. Each year, seeing those memories pop up hurts a little less. Proving that time heals all wounds, even if you can never forget.
This also has been such a great baby book back up for those of us who just can’t physically document, but are the momaparazzi capturing every minute of our children’s lives because they are just so dang cute (or you want blackmail). It’s so crazy to see how I’ve changed and grown as a mother. I had a serious case of first time mom. Because we all did/do. As life changed, siblings came, and I’ve chased dreams I see that I just don’t have time for homemade food, reusable diapers, and sign language anymore. I do things now I never imagined I would. My kids eat chicken nuggets! And stare at their tablets! They talk back and push my buttons. All this stuff I knew I would be better at turns out is the same struggle for everyone.
Facebook has a historical way of showing us that parenting is the most finding yourself experience we have yet faced. I may have given up on a lot of my mom of the year crap, but it’s also documented how far I’ve grown as a mother.
Pictures of my child with terrible car seat usage tend to pop up. So glad now someone saw a photo and educated me. I would have never known better parenting techniques without posting a cute photo of my kid. I also see the pictures of me during the first years of my daughter’s life and remembering how isolated and alone I was. Now, knowing it was PPD/PPA. I know by those pictures of how important finding friends and creating your village is. No one should have to feel like that in a world where connecting is so easy. Those pictures make me sad of that young mom and wished she would have had the courage to just say hello at story time.
So high five to the girl from on this day for getting me to who I am now. Tomorrow morning when you wake up and scroll mindlessly through the last decade of your life, honor those memories. Reach out to an old friend. Smile about those memories you cherish of one’s you’ve lost. Strive to be better. Kiss the person you fell in love with. Tear up about how big your babies have gotten. Remember the person you used to be, and celebrate the person you are now.
Make what you see next year is something you will smile about.