I’ve been on Facebook a long time. So long that it now reminds me of my anniversary with my ex and pops up reminders of my now-passed grandma. Can I block some of this so I don’t have to get these depressing reminders?
It’s remarkable how much information that social sharing sites like Facebook eventually learn about us. We happily post “in a relationship” and it knows that date forever. We get married, it’ll automatically remind us of anniversaries. But life is a constantly changing picture and there are plenty of off-site events that occur that Facebook (for now, at least) has no way of know about. Examples are a breakup or divorce or the death of a beloved friend or family member. You might want to commemorate their passing every year in the latter case, but you definitely don’t need Facebook reminding you or prompting you to do so.
And yet, Facebook likes to remind you of things from last year, a few years ago, or even a decade ago if you’ve been on the service long enough. Most of it is fun and benign, like reminders of a movie you saw, a wry political post or a snarky jibe at a company or celebrity you shared. But sometimes, not so much. Cheery reminders with balloons of your anniversary when you’re smack dab in the middle of the heartbreak of divorce? No thanks, Facebook!
Fortunately there’s a way to filter out, block and exclude reminders associated with specific people and/or specific dates from ever showing up in your Facebook Reminders, and it’s a smart thing to set up if this feature’s bugging you and bringing you down. I mean, Facebook should be fun and uplifting, a reminder of all the fun people you know and how much we all care for each other, right? I know, I’m an idealist 🙂
There are two ways to get to the Facebook Reminders area, the easier of which is to look on the left side choices when you’re logged in on your Web browser. You’ll see the Explore menu that looks something like this:
Click or tap on the “See More…” and a whole lot of additional choices pop up, many of which I bet you’ve never even seen before:
You can explore some of the other options later, let’s stay focused. Oh! You can also go straight to memories at any time by going to facebook.com/memories/ which is a handy shortcut.
Either way, you’ll be on a page of memories from years gone by that match the current date. Whether you want to see them or not, of course. The header looks like this:
You can turn off “Notifications” and Memories then won’t show up in your newsfeed, but if you want to be a bit more selective about it, click on “Preferences” on the top right…
Notice that Facebook’s being a bit coy here, offering to help you ensure that it’s showing memories “in a way that’s meaningful for you”, rather than just “we’ll stop bugging you about things you don’t want to be reminded about”. But… however they tweaked the wording it’s the same thing.
To block a person, click on the “Edit” button adjacent and type in their name:
Notice that you can match people who are in your social circle but whom you’re not actually friends with at this moment in time (this is true for both Mario Brown and Marion Ross, above), but if your ex or deceased relative has had their account removed from Facebook, well, then you can’t block their memories because their account isn’t active. Not sure there’s a way around it but that’s a non-started, unfortunately.
Rather block out a date, like the day something tragic happened in your life? You can do that too by clicking on the “Edit” adjacent to Dates in the Preferences window. It pops up this window:
And that’s how you gain some level of control over Facebook Memories. You can see how to remove all of it from your newsfeed (turn off Notifications, as shown above) or block specific people and/or dates from ever appearing. Hope that helps.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Facebook since the early days, please do check out my extensive Facebook help pages to get lots more insight into how to make it meet your needs, rather than vice versa. And while we’re talking about Facebook I also invite you to subscribe to AskDaveTaylor on Facebook too, I post content unique to that site almost every day!