I Don’t Care If You Don’t Want To See My Facebook Look Back Video

February 6, 2014 | By Felicity Cull

I made a Facebook Look Back video. Do I regret it? Am I embarrassed now that all the cool kids think it’s lame? Nope. I loved it. I watched it about five times. Here’s why: in 2011, in the heat of the Western Australian summer when total fire bans are a given, a police officer who lived in the hills decided to do some angle grinding. The sparks set off a fire that would eventually destroy 72 homes and damage 32. My family’s home was one of the 72.

My family (and my kitty) survived, which I am very grateful for. But none of our photos (or any other precious material thing) did. We lost a beloved dog and cat too. And in the aftermath of the feelings this engendered in me, I developed a new love for the jumble of memories that Facebook allows us to leave behind us as we update our statuses, share photos from parties, and update our profile photos when we get a new haircut. Because without it, I’d have no photos left.

I unashamedly love every moment shared by my friends, close and not so close. I have become a sap. I will never ever complain about the photos of your baby and/or your pet. I won’t even complain about your endless selfies. I am especially choked up when I see people post photos of their childhood. Quite frankly, seeing photos of an imperfect you makes me want to give you a big ol’ hug. Hell, feel free to tag me in all of your ‘boring’ photos. I’ll be thrilled. I wasn’t always like this. I took time off from Facebook and professed my loathing for it, I untagged all the photos of me anyone posted. I deleted (as far as I could) things from the site all the time. But now I wouldn’t bother.

A user’s relationship to Facebook is complex. Facebook makes money from each user of the site. A lot of money. Apparently, Facebook is “worth more than $150 billion… 10 times the entire U.S. newspaper industry.” Even though it was oft reported in 2013 that people were leaving Facebook in droves, it looks like it is still doing well. So many of us engage with it and in the process become part of this money making process, and the associated privacy concerns are real. A lot of the people I know in I.T have never had a profile on the site and never will. But if we choose to engage with it, how should we do so?

My opinion? I am utterly fed up with people who, instead of deleting their Facebook, try to moderate the manner in which other people use Facebook so that their Newsfeed contains only the information and images that they want to see. Because, frankly, the stuff that so many think is “rotting nonsense” and “digital clutter” is only so odious when you have a record of it elsewhere, on laptops or in albums, or because of some mealy mouthed objection that you have to other people’s personalities that you’re not up front enough to follow through with an ‘unfriending’.

You are the master of your own Facebook destiny. Delete the friends who share things you don’t like. Or if you can’t, hide them from your Newsfeed. Don’t hit play on videos you don’t want to watch. Reject game requests. Just like I avoid twitter when a sportsball game or TV show I don’t care about it is on, opt out when your Newsfeed is inundated with things you don’t like. Why didn’t the author of this blog just go watch a movie last night as her friends dared to become sentimental on Facebook?

I don’t care that you think other people shouldn’t share what they share. If you have concerns regarding your privacy that is completely understandable, wise even. Delete your Facebook. I don’t care (not even a tiny little bit) that when you use Facebook (despite the fact that you hate it and how other people engage with it) you don’t enjoy every minute. People use Facebook in lots of different ways, at different times of their lives, some positive and some negative. You can’t avoid the mediation of your life anymore. And maybe one day you will be very glad of that.


Photo by Jeremiah on Flickr.