A Look Back – Thanks Facebook

Having the flu – which really should be called “burning golf balls in your throat and an elephant sitting on your chest”  – but I guess flu is shorter and easier to say…stinks.

However, being in bed the majority of this week has enabled me to watch over 60 ( I think, I lost count but definitely at least 50) look back videos.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team,

imagesHappy Birthday Facebook!

I LOVED the gift you gave to us – a video that encapsulated the posts that we published since we began our FB journey. Of course based on the algorithm you programmed, our pictures or posts were placed in the video  – so while some videos were overly beautiful and made most of us weep for the sweet moments they captured, they were not all moving pieces. However, If we were naughty, and deleted some photos, because well, lets face it, no one needs to see a picture of your bagel that you ate last year and felt the need to share it with the world – that’s not  ‘video’ material is it? We were punished. No video for you. Just a bunch of weirdly random pictures that we could not even share is what we got.

And I am so very disappointed, see, I saw my video and it was great, well-rounded and shared some old pictures of me and my classmates, some of my old co-workers with one of our special needs volunteers,  some great children moments – as well as me and some friends in group shots, but there was none of my husband – which I was so sad about. So I changed my profile picture to one of my favorite couple shots of us thinking, this is just going to make it amazing – and then – nothing. Just a weird grouping of random stills I sent out over the years with no ‘Share’ button – just a thank you from Mark Z and his team.

That got me thinking and as I scrolled FB to see, there were others like me, at least 2 others and there was no do-over. It had me thinking about G-d. ( I know I’m ill and feverish so it may have been between pills when this came to me).

G-d sometimes give us do-overs, but sometimes the algorithm is the way it is. Something set and that’s the end of it. I was called an idiot for not getting the flu shot. Well, okay – I didn’t want to inject some flu in me so I wouldn’t get a worse case of it – those are the breaks. Maybe I am an idiot sometimes, but I try not to be, and that had me thinking back to Facebook.

Sometimes I share a lot of nonsense. Watching so many other people’s videos I learned a few things about the way we choose to ‘share’. Here is what I learned about myself and Facebook:

  • I will try to stop sharing pictures of food that I cooked or baked. It’s really not that interesting and I already write a blog – so I might as well stick those shots in a section called – “”Hey, I cooked something and I want you to comment on how it looks” or something dually self-promoting.
  • I will think about sharing only the moments that matter. Not because it’s fake or gives the impression that my life is perfect, on the contrary  – no one has a life that is all vacations and dinners at fancy restaurants. Well at least not any of my 600 some odd ‘friends’ on Facebook – well maybe just one or two of them do – but I digress. I should be more selective about what I share.
  • We all seek attention.  From the tiniest hang nail and paper cut (no matter how annoying or painful) to the proudest moments as parents and biggest personal achievements, we put ‘stuff ‘ out there in the hopes that someone will comment, connect or make fun of us. Sharing is caring and can be fun and even sometimes helpful. But are we using this tool solely to seek attention? Maybe.
  • Having pets is okay, I guess.  Just because I’m highly allergic to all your furry friends, means I’ll never own one and am cautious about accepting invitations to your homes. Even when I’m there my first reaction is to back away and cringe – but I know some are great companions and good for children.  So I’ll watch your cute dog videos. They all look so harmless in your Look Back vids.
  • Facebook connects people. And that’s the reason I started with it anyway. Living far from family has its advantages, sure, but not when you miss a Thanksgiving dinner, or a wedding or even worse, your elderly grandparents. Will grandpa chat with you and you can only see his chin the entire conversation? Yup. so when Skype or Facetime fails with the ol’ folk, there is Facebook – where you can automatically share videos and pictures and messages. And then every ten years get your own recap video.

So thanks Facebook, for giving me an opportunity for a do-over. But if anyone on staff reads this – can you rig it so I get to see my video again? Thanks.

Love, Cheri

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