I can’t remember where or when I saw it first, but you know it probably as well. Trend is to show a ‘friendly date’ instead of the full date.
The rationale sounds good to me: don’t make me think:
- “on what day was august, 29 again?”
- “how long ago was september, 18?”
- “or is 2013 really more than a few years ago?”
- “people from 2003 can actually talk?”
I see it rarely used for future dates, now I mention it. Could have been:
- “see ya in 2 days!”
Friendly or unfriendly?
In my strong opinion, these are really friendly dates masquerading as unfriendly dates. They are very dependent on technology. E.g. ‘43 minutes ago’… ok, when was that? Did the page not refresh? Is it really 1 year ago? Did my browser cache it? Not to mention screenshots or print!
Significance is worse at best as well: e.g. ‘two years ago’. It is 366 days ago or 720 days ago?
Make them friendly!
For my site I used what I call ‘compressed significant dates’. The longer it has been, less significance is needed.
|Semi-friendy||Unfriendly date||Compressed significant date|
|2003 June 10, 12:35:31||19 years ago||’03|
|2021 June 10, 12:35:31||1 year ago||Jun ’21|
|2022 June 10, 12:35:31||3 months ago||10 Jun|
|2022 september 10, 12:35:31||9 days ago||10 Jun|
|2023 June 10, 12:35:31||In one year||Jun ‘23|
The only use case I see is if you or somebody else submits something in a system: ‘Piet posted seconds ago’, but it should be replaced within the minute!
- not realtime, later! ⤴