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You're Not The Only One Who Finds The Timehop Feature Depressing

You're Not The Only One Who Finds The Timehop Feature Depressing

A year has passed since we first went into lockdown, and looking life leading up to that point can be quite depressing.

Gregory Robinson

Gregory Robinson

*Ding* your phone just buzzed with a new notification.

This one isn't another work email hoping to find you well, or a calendar reminder for that recurring Zoom conference call, it's from one of your social media apps reminding you of all the fun stuff you were doing on the same day three years ago.

Quite frankly, it's the last thing anybody needs after a year in lockdown.

Everyone loves a bit nostalgia every now and then, and we all appreciate looking back at the embarrassing snaps from a night out, or that time you went to a boozy brunch with your pals from yesteryear.

But as we inch closer to the one year mark since we first went into lockdown, it's fair to say that the timehop feature can also be quite depressing.

Almost all social media apps like Facebook have a 'on this day' feature so you can see what you were doing on that day the year before (

"Through our muscle memory, we can feel close to loved ones and happy times. That aspect of social media is reassuring and positive," explains Floss Knight about this feeling. She's a psychotherapist and the Founding Director of UK Therapy Guide.

But she adds: "While it can be lovely to see evocative pictures and memories of the past, some people may find it highlights the lack of socialising and opportunity during the pandemic."

Almost all the social media apps now offer users the opportunity to have a lil 'throwback' moment. Facebook's timehop feature - called "On This Day" - reminds users of the pictures, posts and shares and status updates from exactly one year ago.

Meanwhile, Instagram has a similar nostalgia-inducing feature accessible through Stories, which shows the posts from previous years on the same date.

The picture gallery on iPhones notifies its users with throwback pictures. Oh, and even Snapchat - the app that originally ensured everything was deleted after it was sent - has its own timehop feature that will randomly remind you of what you were getting up to on that particular day.

The problem is that we're now seeing the last time we went out for drinks, took a weekend trip or even just had a lazy day in with a friend or two right before the start of a truly unprecedented year.

FOMO is real (

Kirsty Batten, a 24-year-old senior digital marketing manager can relate. She has been bombarded with throwbacks from Instagram, Facebook and her own iPhone camera roll over the last 12 months.

"I've been reminded of lots of very fun activities I was doing last year, which has sucked! Like being with my mum on Mother's day - which I couldn't this year - being with friends and family in general and lots of Rugby."

Kirsty is a huge rugby fan and spent lots of time before lockdown going to games to support her favourite team, the Exeter Chiefs, as well as the women's team, Wasps, and England's national team.

She also plays for the Newbury Ladies and just before lockdown, the team had a huge social. "Everyone came as a different six nations country," she says, which (as her phone notifications bleakly reminded her) was a far cry from her March this year which we all spent in lockdown.

Kirsty Batten went to a Twickenham rugby game in March before lockdown (
Kirsty Batten)

Outside of rugby, Kirsty has been whisked back through time to pre-lockdown activities like socials with her teammates, Wilderness festival, taking part in the Tough Mudder obstacle course, a weekend away in Manchester and nights out in London.

Plus, she's been reminded of lots of 'normal' activities she can no longer enjoy in the same way, be it going out for food, clubbing, New Year's or Christmas.

Kirsty agrees that the timehop function can be depressing, and she often decides not to post the throwbacks to her main feed.

Last March Kirsty had a huge social with her rugby team mates (
Kirsty Batten)

Although it's not all bad. "It can also be a good reminder of the good things in life and what might be coming back soon. If I am not in the mood to be reminded, I just don't look!"

Checking in to see what you were up to on that particular year can be tempting, but if you are finding yourself feeling unsettled or upset, psychotherapist Floss says the best thing to do is to limit your 'time-hopping' and to try and live in the present as much as possible.

As the rest of the year unfolds, we will no doubt all be reminded of the TikTok dances we tried to learn and all our attempts at mastering banana bread from 2020.

People have been reminded of the last time they went out before lockdown began in March (

With the end of lockdown now in sight, we can all hope that we'll find some joy in reliving the parts of lockdown worthy of documenting on Facebook and Instagram with friends and family - in the same room.

And if you don't want to look back on this rather hellish year at all, we totally understand.

One thing we can bet on is that 21st June 2022 will *hopefully* be flooded with happy 'On This Day' snaps.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Unsplash

Topics: Life, Real Life