“FOR THE MEMORIES THAT REMAIN…”

I’ve noticed that a lot of social media platforms have got their own memory features. You know, the kind that pops your older posts up on your timeline a few times or so. A year ago, three years ago…you name it.

What are your older posts mostly like? Full of great memories, like pictures of you and your loved ones (friends, family, and partner?), funny writing pieces on your status platform or notes? Hilarious memes and links to interesting articles?

Are your older posts mostly full of negative stuff? Sarcastic memes about unpleasant things you find in the world and pictures of some past tragedies? Your constant whining about people you hate – and perhaps the government too?

How do you feel when you see your older posts again? How do you feel when you those older posts of other people you know?

Surely, most people would prefer to remember only the good stuff, even in the past. Even when things are rather tough right now, looking back on them can still make you laugh. Those things can give you hope:

If you could be happy then, you can still be happy now. There’s always a way.

How about the negative older posts? Well, we all feel what we feel and can always choose to control them. We can choose to let the world know or keep them to ourselves.

Does the world need to know everything about us? What we do, love, and hate every few seconds? Is a little bit of mystery no longer relevant?

Perhaps you once had a huge fight with your (supposedly) best friend. You came across their timeline after that and realised that they were backbiting about you. Then you stopped speaking to them.

After a while, the matters were resolved and you two got along okay again. However, you realised that some things could never go back to how they had once been.

Especially since they somehow chose not to erase that specific post. It had been a while before that post suddenly popped up again, completely out of the blue. Yep, thanks to the auto-memory feature.

That was when you reminded again of the same old anger and hurt. You’d tried to shake that off, but the feeling still went back and chose to stick around longer than you actually wanted it to. Too many negative posts, either old or new, show you one unsettling possibility:

That person might be vengeful. It won’t be too surprising when you have another argument with them in the future, they’ll start digging the same old graves and refuse to bury the hatchet. It doesn’t matter if the issues are relevant or not.

I don’t need to mention that it’s even worse if real, full names are posted as part of the negative aspect – whether that person is really at fault or else.

Surely, you’ll start thinking twice (or perhaps more) to open up to that kind of person anymore, just as much as you opening up too much on social media.

Yes, we’re all human and make mistakes. However, you may feel that with this kind of person, they often make you feel like walking on egg shells around them – even when they unfairly trample on your garden without feeling guilty. They’ll always, always remember all your faults and can possibly bring them up again every time a new argument comes up.

It doesn’t matter that you’ve already apologised and they (say they) have forgiven you, if you had really been to blame.

Will it always be like that? Somehow, you’d rather not risk it…like, ever again.

This doesn’t mean that you have to stay in complete denial, pretending that everything is always fine. This is about what you choose to keep and remember, like a health-conscious being chooses what to eat.

“Do you know why I stopped writing about my life on a blog open for public?” said a best friend one day, sometime ago. “I feel like the whole world doesn’t need to know everything about my personal life, including the negative part. I don’t need to let them know if I’ve just had a bad day or if I had a fight with my girlfriend. That’s all.”

He was right, to a point. I haven’t stopped, though. I’m just more selective with what I write, what I choose to reveal.

I remember reading “The 7 Habits for Highly-Effective Teens” by. Sean Covey, given by my late father from one of his business trips overseas. In one of the chapters, there’s a story about a boy who writes a journal. Unlike other writers, he only writes the good stuff worth remembering in it. His brother’s hugs, his mother’s laughter, his favourite songs, fun things he likes to do, et cetera.

The boy says that he chooses to remember only the good things in his life. So, whenever he goes through tough times, all he has to do is go back to his journals and read them again. That always makes him feel better.

A cool strategy, eh? Although I must admit that I have failed trying that, his method is still interesting. Why hold a lot of grudges when there are still so many beautiful things in this world?

From others’ point of view and yours, how do you wish to be remembered? What would you like to see the next time the memory feature pops your older posts up?

Would you re-share or choose to delete them? Are they still relevant and even worth re-sharing?

R.

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