Am I the only person who hates Facebook’s “You have Memories to look back on” feature? For starters, it makes that little red notification appear, getting me all excited thinking that maybe someone’s commented on my blog or a long lost friend has got in touch – only to discover that it’s just Facebook rehashing old content. What’s worse though, it’s completely indiscriminate; absolutely any previous post is fair game. So you get irritating anniversary reminders about 38 Degrees petitions you’ve signed or Daily Mash articles you’ve shared… why, just why?? …. along with stuff that you’d probably much rather forget – the time you had tonsilitis, pranged your car or lost your job. Yeah, thanks for the memories, Facebook.
Anyway, the memory Facebook decided to share with me this Saturday was this picture of my then 1YO checking out the Mac 4 years ago:
Adorable, huh? As her 5YO self was cuddled up in bed next to me when I was checking my phone, I showed it to her, saying something like “Look at this cute picture of when you were a baby”…. only to realise that 5 minutes later she was in floods of tears.
Me: What’s the matter sweetie?
5YO: (sobbing) It’s the p…p…picture. It’s so cuuuuuuute….
Me: Well, yes, it is cute. Is the picture making you feel sad?
5YO (sobbing intensifies) Y…y..yes. VERY sad.
Me: (baffled) But why?
5YO: (howling louder than ever at this point) Because I’m not cute anymore. Only little ones are cute. I’m TOO BIG TO BE CUTE!!
Oops. Didn’t see that one coming.
Me: Of course you’re cute Roo. But you’re lots of other things too now that you’re bigger. You’re clever…
5YO: Not clever! Want to be cute!
Me: And you’re kind, and brave, and funny and a fast runner, and…
5YO: Don’t want to be those things! Those things are boring! Want to be CUUUUUTE!!
Eventually I placated her and we carried on with the day. Lessons I’ve learned from this are as follows:
- Context is everything. I’m well aware of Facebook’s memories feature and how it brings random things to my attention. 5YO isn’t, and it must have seemed to her that I was just pulling a random photo out of nowhere to point out how cute she used to be, as an unfavourable comparison to how she is now.
- I am never, ever using the word cute as a compliment to either of my daughters ever again. Not that I think I ever used it much. But the above exchange showed me that 5YO is picking up some unintended subtext about plump-cheeked babyish perfection being a more worthy aspiration than being kind or clever or anything else.
- I now really, really hate Facebook’s memories feature. Anyone know a way I can turn it off?