This weekend, I deleted Timehop.
If you’ve never heard of this social media-dominating app, it basically scours your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles and will make a timeline from your early days on the sites up until last year. Went out drinking with friends from work three years ago? It will show you the photos you desperately tried to forget about. Got a puppy seven years ago? You can look over at the huge ball of fluff taking up the sofa and remember how small and cute they used to be. You can even look at vague subtweets and try to remember who pissed you off enough to warrant the mention last year.
My timeline was always a little skewed.
If you go back six years ago, I was miserable with Manipulative Ex, yet I tried to hide it in everything I ever said online – and to me now in the present, it was painfully obvious that I was unhappy. Hop back five years, and I was in the early days of the relationship with The Ex. Things were up and down but I was besotted. Four years ago, still with The Ex, getting settled, having problems with my mom, uni and work. Rewind three years and you see the end of the relationship with The Ex and the turmoil I was in over the relationship I had with someone I will call MFP (another story for another time.)
Two years ago, I lost my mom and the life I knew. I also descended into grief and misery, despite being in the early days of my relationship with my Other Half and trying to get by. Last year saw my life change completely, both pre and post BPD diagnosis.
You’d think I’d know all this simply from Timehop, right? Wrong. I have an immense long term memory. I can recall dates, times, people and emotions – I can even recall dreams I had and why I had them. I thought everyone was like this, until it was pointed out only recently that most people don’t remember things so vividly over such a long period of time. I do spend a lot of time thinking, but most of the time unless something actively reminds me of an event or person, I won’t recall it.
I would read my Timehop timeline every morning on my phone. And I would be reminded of things probably best forgotten. Without fail, it would affect my mood for the rest of the day as I remembered how that event made me feel, and it would bring it all back.
Like I already said, I remember dates already pretty well. My mom’s first big cancer operation was 13th October 1998. My first kiss was 12th March 2005. Dad died 24th March 2006. Started dating The Ex 16th November 2009. Met the Other Half 31st May 2013. Mom died 30th July 2013. I can recall all those dates and what I was doing on those days without even putting much effort into it. But I don’t think about them all the time.
Timehop was just a constant nudge into the past that I didn’t need. And I’m proud of myself for deleting it and letting my memories come and go whenever they feel like it, without the prodding of a phone app.
I’m all for people remembering the good times – but when you have a lot of bad times, sometimes you just need to protect yourself from them when you can.