Facebook's 10th Anniversary Gift to You Is a Personalized Blackmail Video
Today is Facebook's 10th anniversary and the company is celebrating with a feature that drudges up some of your most embarrassing moments and vapid thoughts.
Today is Facebook's 10th anniversary and the company is celebrating by digging up the most embarrassing things you've shared with them and giving them back to you in dramatic fashion.
Meet Lookback, your new least favorite Facebook feature. The social network will a quick video collage of your old photos and status updates ever since you joined, whenever that may be, whether you like it or not. Whether you grew up with Facebook or adopted late to keep an eye on your kids, everyone has a period where Facebook was new and unusual and we were still figuring out How to Facebook. We generally did not say the smartest things, or upload the prettiest pictures, but for some reason Facebook decided to hold on to that so it could help you relive those memories years later.
Take, for instance, some moments from my Facebook highlight video. I signed up in 2006 and uploaded a very mature profile photo:
That is me on the right. Facebook then goes through some of your "earliest moments," which for included a baby picture I uploaded for a school project.
Don't worry. I signed up for Facebook in high school, not when I was a baby. So my earliest Facebook moments are better explained with awkward new haircut dorm room selfies.
Facebook thinks this moment, the one above, is something I should want to relive, proving that for all the information it has on me, Facebook knows nothing about me. Or any of us.
But the hits keep coming when the video also remembers some of the most intelligent, witty drops of wisdom you have posted to your wall. Gems like this:
That is Facebook's way of celebrating its tenth birthday. Thankfully, the videos aren't shareable. But if you take screenshots, like I have here, your nemesis can easily laugh at your misfortune and mail the video to your boss, probably. Plus, who knows where the video might end on the 15th anniversary.
On Twitter, some have chosen to post their most embarrassing early private messages. Messages are where our realest first communications took place. With the privacy that Messages provided, we were allowed to be our true self for the first time, in a way wall posts never allowed. (Wall posts are public, after all.) This is a bad idea, but you can play if you really want.
Other places have celebrated the occasion with a touch more grace. The New York Times' Jenna Wortham gathered stories of love and loss from readers that shows just how much the social network has had an effect on our daily lives over the last decade. For better or worse, it's here to stay.