After continued months of increasingly minimal use, Facebook has been pushing hard to promote its “On This Day” feature. The feature lets Facebook users view posts from the same day in the years since they joined, limited to the user’s posts or posts on the user’s wall. Despite the app not affecting the user’s public profile beyond what already exists, it seems as though users have stopped finding any entertainment from looking back to their past Facebook lives.
“The ‘On This Day’ app reminds me of my worst years, of dark times,” says Sam Reedy, who Anime Maru contacted through his reddit.com username /u/Sasuga_Uchiha2010.
“Back then when I first started using Facebook I was watching crappy anime nonstop, telling people I was learning Japanese even though I had only opened Rosetta Stone, like, twice, and saving up to buy some shitty katana from a pawn shop since that was a more reasonable goal than actually booking a vacation to Japan. Every time I open ‘On This Day’ there’s some other cringey post or picture from those days, but even if I delete it there’s another one the next day. I just stopped bothering after a while, it’s hard enough to deal with people posting old con pictures of me.”
In a public statement, Facebook commented that “‘On This Day’ is not intended to bring up unwanted content, nor does the Facebook design team wish to make using Facebook an unpleasant experience. Please feel free to block out posts from specific dates or people in the ‘Preferences’ tab of your OTD app.”
“It’s not enough to change my mind” said Reedy. “How am I supposed to black out years of… that? We’re talking years of cons, dozens of my community college’s anime club members, hundreds of posts. It’s just too much.”
The app experienced an increase in use prior to this year. In its first iteration, the app would also show users’ friends’ past posts from the current date.
“Oh god, that was even worse.” Said Reedy. “Some of my ‘friends’ back then were even worse than I was. Every post reads like a Japanese 1 textbook and has enough colored contact lenses to make an anime etsy shop.”
Reedy isn’t alone in this predicament. It’s estimated that up to 55% of users who have stopped using “On This Day” identify as ex-weeaboo or ex-otaku. The other 45% is estimated to be made up of users who accidentally clicked the button once and forgot about the app immediately afterwards.