On Facebook’s “On this Day” and Nostalgia

February 16, 2016

in mark my word: twitter will doom us all,marketing at work

Dear Mark Z, congratulations on the new baby. And kudos for knowing Chinese. I’ve just added you to the list of “See? These people can learn to speak Chinese. Why can’t you?” to show my kids. Oh, don’t worry. I am not asking you for money like Kanye West just did. To be fair though, he’s also asked Larry Page for help.

Kanye West tweets

I know you don’t use Twitter. Aww. How quaint. But Kanye’s Tweet is the best parody account there is. He’s a parody of himself, a mirror reflecting back on a mirage, a meme of a meme. This somehow makes him the realest paradoxically.

Is your birthday really on Valentine’s Day? That’s a pretty cool thing to include as “The three things about myself that most people don’t know” when you have to do one of those awkward get-to-know-you self introductions.

I am rambling. You are so easy to talk to.


Seeing pictures from a year ago does not make me happy. The more years it has transpired, the more depressing they are. I have peaked a long time ago. My life has since been going downhill. Those memories mock me for having wasted another year of my life with nothing to show for. (You’ll have to agree that Facebook posts do not amount to “things to show for”).

They are signposts, marking my march downward.

When I see “On this day,” I inadvertently think to myself, “Yup. And ON THIS VERY DAY, I am crying for all the wasted breath I’ve taken and what have I done and I should go jump off a bridge.” Pass the donuts.

Did you know that in the 17th to 19th century, nostalgia was considered a psychopathological disorder? I bet you don’t. I bet you are not a very nostalgic person either. Most winners of life aren’t. So thank you for pushing to cause a global pandemic of nostalgia with this fancy Facebook feature while you yourself has nothing but the future to look forward to.

In Greek nostalgia literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved. — Don Draper

And we all know what that place is.


Nice try.


Lan Hoang October 20, 2016 at 3:23 am

I use English as my second languages so as I learn this word I was like, what, you even have a kind of sadness that comes from missing something that you missed?
I love how you wrote this article. I feel like home. May be I’m just being nostalgia.
Lan Hoang´s last blog post…Angel Sanctuary Manga | Readterest.com

Absence Alternatives October 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Thank you for reading and commenting. There are more words describing specific kind of sadness. I have them somewhere and I’ll post them.

Lan Hoang October 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Thanks for replying.
As I learn more and more languages, I find out that each country has their own preference and priority. Like, in Vietnam, people use the social structure to rule, so for each person we have a different pronouns. We have like 20 or more pronouns just for “you” and “I”.
Up to this point, sometimes I can only describe my feelings in English, finding it somehow lacking if I describe it in Vietnamese.
May be it’s just me. But…. as for sadness, have you check out Tumblr?

Absence Alternatives January 1, 2017 at 10:37 am

Tumblr is fun to read through. Although I am tempted to respond to most posts “All this too shall pass young folks.” 🙂

Here’s the post about words I was thinking of: “14 Words For Sadness And Depression That Don’t Exist In English”

Jack February 22, 2016 at 1:47 am

Kanye makes me think about going back to Twitter on a more consistent basis. Dude is losing it.

Absence Alternatives April 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm

In some sense, I prefer his stream of consciousness soliloquy a lot. He’s not trying to sell us things by pretending that he cares about his fans. And he is tweeting on his own, not his assistants. I respect that. 🙂

Duffy February 17, 2016 at 7:58 am

Nostalgia is the most dangerous form of bullshitting oneself. Oh remember when!?!

I prefer forward motion:)
Duffy´s last blog post…Get In The Van

Absence Alternatives February 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

I am defying nostalgia exactly because it is such an easy, sweet pill to swallow. BTW, I attribute much of Taylor Swift’s status as the new IT Girl to how she brilliantly manipulated nostalgia in her musical videos.

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