How To Get Only The Best Memory Reminders On Facebook

Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
If Facebook had its own Facebook profile (hm, apparently, it does), today it would get a notification: On this day a year ago, On This Day launched.

While Facebook lets you share thoughts and photos in the now, it's also become a repository of memories from different stages of your life. On This Day is the doorway to those memories, reminding you what happened on Facebook during a particular date in years past.

Most of the time, On This Day serves up happy reminders or neutral memories. But every once in a while, it dredges up something you'd rather forget: an ex or a recently deceased loved one. It's an AI cherrypicking what old Facebook photos and actions to surface; it's not perfect.

However, On This Day has evolved pretty significantly since it debuted. You might not be aware of all the ways you can tweak it. Whether you're going through a major life change or don't want an unpleasant reminder hopping in your timeline, here's how to customize this Facebook experience.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
"We were looking at what people were doing on Facebook already," Facebook product manager Tony Liu told Refinery29 about how On This Day started. "Facebook is now 12 years old. There are a lot of different memories, and the further back you go, the more meaningful they become — kind of like wine."

Facebook saw more and more people doing #TBTs or surfacing old memories and re-sharing them with friends, so the company decided to make it easier for people to do this — On This Day was born.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
But On This Day offers a number of filtering options, since not every memory is worth remembering.

You can edit your On This Day preference by heading to Facebook.com/onthisday and tapping preferences in the upper right. In the coming weeks, the mobile version you see here will be rolling out. You can also opt into, or out of, daily On This Day notifications.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
First, you can filter by day. Did you and ex break up on April 1, 2015, and you'd rather not be reminded of that date? Select dates that you want to bar Facebook from sending you memories on.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
You can also filter out people. If you had a falling out with a friend, you can type his or her name and Facebook won't resurface memories that you shared with them or tagged them in. If you guys make up and are cool in the future, you can always head back in and edit these settings later. And if you've already blocked someone, they should not show up in your memories.

On This Day learns from the posts you like and decide to share and the ones you don't. Do, over time, it should get better about knowing what types of memories you care about revisiting.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
Facebook also offers specific tools for when you've just gone through a breakup. This screen pops up if you change your relationship status on the social network. It'll then guide you through how to manage your newly changed digital relationship with your ex.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
When you make these privacy changes, Facebook defaults by showing you your current settings. If you want to take a break from someone — whether it's an ex, friend, or someone who's just tweaking your last nerve — you can limit where you see that person, and they'll have no idea you made those changes. This is a great option if you don't want to go the full un-friending route, but also don't want to see them (or your old memories) cropping up in your feed all day long.
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Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
You can also edit who can see your past posts — useful if you don't want your ex like-bombing your old photos after a night of drinking together. You can choose to make them private, make some private and leave others public, or, in the case of group photos, make those images private only to the people tagged in the post. That way, the memory is still shared by the group that was there, but you don't have to worry about your new boyfriend or girlfriend stumbling across that photo down the line.

Between Facebook's On This Day and related relationship management tools, you can make sure your feed is a destination you actually want to visit.
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