These Facebook “Look Back” Movies Make Your Life Seem Even Duller Than It Is

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 2.50.55 PMWhoever designed the algorithm that carefully pulls images and posts from your timeline to make a sort of “life in pictures” documentary of the stuff you chose to share on Facebook should be fired. I watched my “Look Back” video yesterday, and all I could think was, “Am I that boring?”

I joined Facebook in 2007. I had my first child at the end of 2010. The first years I spent on Facebook before I had children virtually disappeared. There were a few photos of my husband and I, a few photos of the kids – and a collage of my husband and the kids. Apparently, I’m one of those people who only takes pictures of her family. There was no trace of my sister or any of my best friends – it was downright depressing.

Facebook, I didn’t really need to know how insular my life was – so thanks for nothing. If my life was so fabulously exciting I wouldn’t even be spending time online at all. This whole idea is just stupid. It’s even worse when you compare your life to people that you know who actually aren’t dull. The magnificence of those people’s lives are magnified by 1000 in these things; Oh look. Lisa’s movie had The Great Pyramids of Giza, The Great Wall of China, swimming with dolphins, and George Clooney in it. All of my photos were taken at the playground.

Also, these movies kind of serve as a litmus of how important you are to somebody. Whenever one of my friends posts their video all I can think is, “I wonder if I’m in it?” The answer to that is no, I’m not. Is anyone surprised? Clearly I’m too busy photographing my family and being dull to be involved in anyone else’s life anyway.

Moving collages with sappy music are the worst. It would have been a little more interesting if they could have picked up on your favorite band and used that – we all know Facebook knows everything there is to know about us anyway. Are you actually telling me I can surf the web for a sofa and that sofa can appear in an ad on my timeline in two-point-five seconds, yet Facebook somehow doesn’t know that I love Billie Holiday? Bullshit.

I’m not looking at any more of these. If you haven’t seen yours yet – save yourself. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time swimming with dolphins.

(photo: Facebook)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Kay_Sue

      I actually liked mine. It wasn’t particularly exciting, but it was fun to see the quick look back of the five years I’ve had that profile. My husband did his…and it was 99.9% memes and like one picture of our wedding day randomly thrown in there….

      I ran across this story about one and it made me cry. Of course, I’m also PMSing like a mofo, so almost anything will do that right now…

      http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/after-her-marine-boyfriends-death-woman-finds-their-story-to

    • Kate

      I really liked mine, and I liked the ones of my friends who shared theirs. (Of course, that would be weighted toward ones that weren’t terrible, but I saw a good number of them that were quite sweet.) It wasn’t 100% awesome, but I joined Facebook in 2007, got married in 2011, and had a baby in 2013, and there were pictures of me and my friends before I got married, my wedding and honeymoon, and my family.

    • Jessica

      Mine was super boring too! I got facebook when you had to have a university email to sign up & it was amazing. 4 years of friends, parties, & classmates. But my video was all my daughter & husband. Obviously there were more people on in the last 2 years & that contributed to more likes on milestone pictures (not to mention the “like” button itself) but none of my “former self” seemed to survive.

      I was a little disappointed, I had a few friends hype it up & was excited to see my “Facebook journey” My daughter is pretty cute though, so it makes sense she stole the show.

      • Katja Yount

        One of my friends that I’ve known since the early days of facebook looked very similar. You’d think that her life revolved around her 9 month old because the pulled posts and photos were all about her baby and one very TMI bit about her labor. Then the wallpaper shot at the end was an embarrassment of baby pictures. Her comment? “I… think I need to get back to work.”

    • CMJ

      The movies can be cute..I am fairly neutral on them….but those DAMN QUIZZES HAVE GOT TO GO. I don’t care what breakfast food/golden girl/disney prince/broadway musical you are.

    • Katja Yount

      Mine was pretty fun. The liked comments they pulled were me celebrating a new job, getting engaged and a photo of a new puppy. I checked out a friend who’s most liked posts were very political, talking about his called off engagement and then how his ex-fiancee was starting a smear campaign online about him. Oh, an a Grumpy Cat photo. That was a surreal one.

      • Jessica

        Maybe he needs this one :)

    • Guest

      I thought I was the only one disappointed in mine. I usually post random pics of funny things or my pets/husband on fb and apparently thats it. I also don’t do a ton of stuff on there so my most liked posts were really random weird stuff. Still bummed me out though.

    • Kheldarson

      I liked mine personally. It started with my camp days and track meets, had stuff from my wedding and having the baby boy as well as our new house and puppy.

      I’m pretty sure the system was set up to locate your highest rated stuff. So, for a lot of us, the major life changes like marriage or a baby are going to take priority.

    • Emily Wight

      Mine was all PARTIES! FUN! BLOW-UP DOLLS! BAD LIFE CHOICES! and then it all abruptly turned to photos of food and babies and it was helpful in pinpointing the exact moment when I turned Old.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      I’m just surprised they couldn’t be customized. That would’ve been cool.

      • Stacey

        They could be to some extent. I changed around mine to downplay that for awhile apparently all I posted was pictures of my cats.

      • Justme

        I thought they could? A friend of mine got divorced in the past year and didn’t want to look at her video because there is so much of her ex-husband in the pictures…but she was somehow able to edit the photos to just her and her daughter.

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      Mine was boring all I do is take pictures with my kid at the park and before that partied with my friends. I need a life.

    • Edify

      I’m with you. Over time I go back and set old stuff and photos to only be seen by me because Facebook seems sketchy with its privacy sometimes so I locked the historical stuff down firstly when my mother and other extended family joined (they didn’t need the details of my irresponsible 20′s!) and also for future situations like job interviews or simply keeping my irresponsible 20′s private from my kids when they are older. I’m weird like that, I’ll share with who I want but value privacy.

      So my Facebook movie is crap and is all about my kids and mostly my second one. The only photos of me without kids in there is my very first profile pic

    • Abby

      I loved mine, but admittedly, that’s because the algorithm turned it into a highlight reel of my relationship with my husband (and since I am pregnant and hormonal, that turned me into a blubbering mess), since he and I started dating in 2007–the same time I joined Facebook. My husband’s, on the other hand, consisted solely of a post or two about him making dinner and several photographs of these action figures of American presidents as B movie monsters.

    • Ashley

      Mine just served as a reminder that I don’t post photos as often as a lot of people, and how few friends I have (relative to other people). I didn’t bother sharing it, and honestly, I haven’t watch a single friend’s video. It seems like one of those things that is only really interesting when it’s about yourself. Like most of what we post on Facebook, I suppose.

      • Guest

        This is what I thought- I have a good handful of “real life” friends but I never post something and get these 50-100-150 likes. How do they know all these people??

    • anonymous

      I don’t take a photo unless there is, bare-minimum, one dolphin in it, preferrably an entire pod. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s incredibly hard to attend weddings and birth a child while riding dolphins. But yes, my Facebook video was epic.

    • Momma425

      I watched mine and the first picture that came up was a huge one of me with my ex. Gross! No thanks facebook!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I really liked mine, actually :) It was a pretty sweet montage about getting married to my husband and having my baby.
      Though my favourite was my friend’s movie. Travel, shots with family, her dog in costume, new job, crashing a clown party the night before my wedding, Halloween… Full of crazy fun.

    • Amber Stacey Larsson

      I DID swim with dolphins in the past 6 years – was it on my video? No! No grand canyon, no photos from Japan. Facebook did a terrible job summarizing the past 6 years of my life, but I still enjoyed the video.

    • Ddaisy

      Mine was almost purely Model UN photos, Disney World, and me wearing fancy dresses that were just a step too formal for the occasion.

      Sounds about right :)

    • Paul White

      nah, mine had a lot of my family and my dogs and some travel photos. It was cool

    • tSubh Dearg

      Mine had quite a lot of pictures of the Beau with his shirt off. Either because he was showing off his bruises or in the bath with a martini. It was quite amusing.

    • SusannahJoy

      I liked mine. It was mostly about the baby, but there was lots of different trips in there, so that was fun. My sister’s was all about her son who died, and then her new baby girl, so that was… tearjerking. Her highest rated post (however they do that) was about her 5 year old saving three people’s lives with his donated organs. And at least half of my mom’s were about me and my son! Woo! But that’s just cuz I always live in vacation spots.