Everything is Wrong With Facebook’s ‘Year in Review’

Facebook's Year in Review isn't just irritating to scroll through, it's algorithm is also severely messed up (though you can customize it). This week, the social network apologized to Eric Meyer after he wrote this blog post about his Year in Review "highlighting" the death of his baby daughter. He wasn't alone, other users tweeted about Facebook calling out a tragic house fire and others deaths; things you really don't want to remember as 2014 comes to a close.

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Facebook’s Year in Review isn’t just irritating to scroll through, it’s algorithm is also severely messed up (though you can customize it). This week, the social network apologized to Eric Meyer after he wrote this blog post about his Year in Review “highlighting” the death of his baby daughter. He wasn’t alone, other users tweeted about Facebook calling out a tragic house fire and others deaths; things you really don’t want to remember as 2014 comes to a close.

There are lots of issues with the feature:

 

But really, no one can sum up my feelings about the Year in Review better than, strangely, The New Republic. Eric Sasson writes:

The irony of these attempts to express our uniqueness by collectively posting what Facebook has cobbled together as our “year” seems to be lost on most of us. How are we being unique when we’re all using the same narrow set of tools to express ourselves? These recaps blend us all into one large, homogenized pulp—and already our social media personas have been mostly neutered by our choices to advertise only our most cheerful selves. We pepper our feeds with zippy updates and humblebrags, hashtagging and filtering our moments for maximum likability. Now we get to see all these ersatz artifacts stitched together in one place, allowing ourselves to wax nostalgic about an already airbrushed existence—now airbrushed once more to be even more stupefyingly reductive. Social media has become so hyper-normalized in our lives that for many of us, creating these retrospectives—or simply accepting the one that Facebook creates for us—seems not just acceptable, but natural.

It’s alarming that people shared their years on their News Feeds — why would you play along with Facebook? Sure, we all use it. A lot of us have to. But I don’t think we should enjoy it so much when they come up with games like this. Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson. What if it was Google archiving our searches? Or, Amazon with our purchase history? It would be weird, right? It might be more interesting, but definitely more scandalous. Would you share those collections? I didn’t think so.