Try to remember your life goals back in 2012. Five years ago, I was positive I'd move to New York City, land a magazine job and make it big. (I'm writing this from a Florida suburb.) I was filled with hope — President Barack Obama had just been re-elected for a second term, after all. Basically, things were very different from the way they are now. Present-day me is cynical and disillusioned compared to the way I viewed the world five years ago. I've had a Twitter account for nearly a decade but didn't become a daily user until recently. But some people have been sharing everything with the world for years, including their five-year goals. Now, there's a Twitter user trolling people by resurrecting old tweets and reminding folks about promises they made way back when.
The tweet reminders from Twitter user @zipoffs, aka Brady Maurer, are equal parts hilarious and slightly unsettling, so it makes sense that the whole thing has gone viral. More than 25,000 people have retweeted a post about the reminders, and nearly 65,000 have liked it since it was shared on Dec. 12. Maurer said he got the idea just scrolling through his feed. "I thought it would be interesting to see what people had to say about the year 2017 'x' amount of years ago," Mauer explained via DM. "The idea eventually evolved into searching for specific requests for reminders because I kept seeing a lot of that."
No one wants to remember that life didn't turn out the way we'd hoped, but the funniest part of the reminding is that many of the original tweets are about completely inconsequential things.
The formula for finding these tweets seems pretty easy, in case you want to follow @zipoffs' lead and troll some strangers. Just look for tweets that were posted in 2012 and also include the phrase, "remind me." You could really pick any year, but 2012 is recent enough that most of us remember what we were doing, but long ago that our lives may have changed drastically since then. The people that @zipoff reminded include someone who wanted to apply for the FBI, a writer who joked he'd cure world hunger by 2017 and a student who said they'd be happy they chose medicine in five years. It seems like Twitter find this much funnier than some of the recipients do, at least based on a response from one person who received a reminder.
I'd probably be thoroughly creeped out if a stranger responded to a tweet from several years ago, so I can understand the hesitancy to thank @zipoffs for their efforts. Even if you're a private person, you have to admit that the randomness of the reminders combined with it coming from a complete stranger makes it hard not to laugh. I'm mostly grateful for the laughs this has brought me, especially because they shared another roundup with screenshots on Dec. 14, and it was just as magical as the first one.
This roundup included someone who wanted a 2017 reminder that "working in the office isn't gonna fly." They didn't respond to the reminder tweet, so we have no way of knowing whether they pursued their dreams and left their 9-to-5 job. Twitter user @oohlivx responded to @zipoffs years-later follow-up about applying for financial aid and took it in stride. (It's worth noting that @oohlivx says in their Twitter bio they "stopped caring in 2012, which is a hilarious coincidence.)
Who knows where I'll be five years from now? I have a list of things I hope to achieve by 2022, but I have no idea what will actually happen. Hopefully, I find someone who will hold me accountable. I'll award bonus points if I'm publicly reminded in a clever way on whatever social media platform we're using in five years.