I am nothing if not nostalgic.
I absolutely love looking through pictures, reading old journals, and going through email conversations with my friends from my early college days. It’s also part of my personal and unofficial happiness project to learn to appreciate good memories for what they are instead of wishing for a return to those times.
On my return flight from my friend Sara’s wedding in April, an article in one of the in-flight magazines caught my eye. It was about a website called Timehop, which links to your online profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others) and reminds you of what you were doing – at least in terms of your social media presence – one year ago on a given day. As someone who loves remembering random “anniversaries” (one year ago I left for New Zealand, one year ago I graduated from college, etc.), this sounded right up my alley.
I signed up as soon as I got home and started receiving my Timehop emails a couple of times a week. The website lets you mark entries as favorites so you can look back on them later.
Getting Timehop emails is really fun – no spam or irrelevant mail, because it’s all from you (although it might be kind of annoying if you’re a serial Twitter-user)! I did wish they went a little bit deeper than just “one year ago,” though.
Enter Memolane! I don’t remember how I found out about this site, but I signed up for it about a month ago. It’s quite like Timehop except that it archives all of your past social media presence and sends you emails reminding you what you did six months ago, one year ago, three years ago… I even got a Memolane email a couple weeks ago telling me what I posted on Facebook FIVE years ago. It was a bunch of photos from my high school senior gala… now those were funny to look back on!
I must admit, Memolane emails don’t always help me with my goal of appreciating the present and accepting the past as past…
Yup, I got that email earlier this week. Two years ago I was scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. It’s hard not to wish I could go back to that time!
Timehop also serves up fun little timehoppin’ ideas when you don’t have any year-ago activity on a certain day:
I thought that was a cool idea, sort of like an online version of a one-sentence journal… have you heard of those? There are little journals with a page for every day of the year, and the idea is that you write one sentence about your day every day, so if you actually keep with it for five years, you’ll have a sentence describing what you did on, say, August 13th every year. Kind of cool to see how things change or stay the same as time passes.
Timehop and Memolane wouldn’t be much use at all to someone who doesn’t use social media (and on the flip side, they’d be much more use to someone who uses multiple platforms instead of just Facebook, like me), but I still think it’s a pretty cool concept. Now I get to celebrate mini anniversaries all the time!
Think about it… what were you doing one year ago today?