by Stephanie G.
If the threat of a broken heart icon desecrating your Facebook wall was reason enough for you to skip filling out the “Relationship Status” field altogether, think twice.
Turns out, Facebook wishes you a speedy recovery post-breakup. To prove it, they’ve tweaked their “Photo Memories” box, a built-in app you didn’t choose to grace your sidebar and don’t have the option of disabling.
Ex’s in your face
I know you’ve seen the Photo Memories box, looming in the right-hand corner of every Facebook “Photo” page you visit. It’s kind of hard to ignore—namely because the ancient photos that appear typically feature people you’ve shared a bed with at some point. Go ahead; try it yourself. Pick an album, any album. I’ll wait.
Who’d you find awaiting you in the Photo Memory box? A younger version of the guy who promised to call and now responds to all of your texts with “New phone, who is this?” Your sophomore year boyfriend? That hot friend of yours who needs to break up with his girlfriend already?
The algorithm Facebook uses singles out the “friends” they think you want to see the most from. And let’s be honest with ourselves, these people are not random. They’re popping up all over your dashboard because you’re messaging them, liking their statuses, or gazing at their page for hours. Facebook picks up on this dirty laundry and passive-aggressively airs it out on the top right corner of your page.
How to turn them OFF
Thanks to the minor adjustments made by Facebook, there’s now a way to click through a photo album without being bombarded with photos of your ex. All you have to do is break up with someone on Facebook. Change that Relationship Status from “Single” to “In a Relationship” and then back again. Because really, how is Facebook supposed to know any better? It’s not like you told Facebook about that guy you dated for nine months that “likes you a lot” but “just can’t commit right now.”
This development in Photo Memories may sound great to those of us who bought into the official Facebook relationship hype; but for the rest of us, this serves as confirmation of the old adage: damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It also confirms that we can all stand to cool it with the Facebook stalking.
Stephanie is a NYC lifer who enjoys new-age dating, sharp-dressed men, and occasionally acting as big spoon. Follow her on Twitter!