Wilmington, North Carolina
It was just another ordinary day for 24 year old Wilmington native Benjamin Rushty, until he got a notification pertaining to his Facebook memories. Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users are plagued by the On This Day reminder. It seems innocent enough, but for most it is a dark reminiscence of a past almost forgotten. The Venture Crunch was on the scene to investigate.
The notification starts off by luring users to click it by name-dropping a few of their closest friends, some of whom users have not spoken to in years. Rushty compares the feeling of seeing this notification to the gut lurching feeling of falling. “I didn’t think the course of my day could change so drastically by a little red notification” The user is lead to a list of memories in chronological order. The further you scroll, the deeper in the memory cave you end up. Many don’t get a chance to see the light to find their way out of the Facebook Memories abyss.
“You can’t really win. It’s either showing you how good you used to look when you were younger, or that you posted weird updates on your unimpressive life,” says Angela Rushty as she consoled her brother, “Even worse is if nothing pops up at all. It really makes you think, where does the time go? Why are we here? What are we for?”
Rushty handed us his phone to check the notification with empty glaze over his eyes. It started innocent enough with a few new friendships, but things took a turn for the worse around the 2010 mark. “This was when Ben was in high school. He was a late bloomer,” said Angela.
A late bloomer he was, as each scroll downward was harder to chew than the last. The punctuation and lack of grammar was the first telltale sign of a man with no compass. His statuses were just awful, most of them with no likes at all. Among the low quality images of Rushty and his pre-pubescent posse was the occasional video that no longer worked. It was until we got to the 2008 notifications that we had to put the phone down.
On our way out of the gloomy scene, we passed by Rushty’s room to give him our support. The immovable Rushty was staring into his mirror repeating to himself, “You are not your On This Day notification. You are not your On This Day notification. You Are not your On This Day notification.”