Although it’s all but died out now, Facebook started an insane micro-trend this past month when, in celebration of its 10 years of existence, the social media platform implemented customized (sort of) videos that took a look back at each individual user’s “Facebook life.”
As soon as I saw the first couple of these pop up, I knew my newsfeed was going to be flooded with them in a matter of hours – and I was right. Dozens and dozens of these movies kept pouring in and tempting me to “check out my own” and I don’t think I could have rolled my eyes any harder at them.
Just like the revered and then quickly reviled “What Would I Say?” Facebook status generator that came before it, this was destined to be a quick flash in the pan of inane self-promotion and validation-seeking.
“Look at my Facebook history! Aren’t I so interesting?”
Then, inevitably the counter-offensive began. Popular sites started jumping on the micro-meme and posting “parody” videos of these videos, featuring fictional characters, celebrities and politicians. The self-congratulating trend rolled right around to being “meta” and “ironic” and then, a week later, stopped dead, as the only people still posting them were those who had their fingers far from the pulse of whatever holy source radiates these collective “trends.”
And so, it was gone.
You could write it off as another one of these quick-to-die memes with no substance, but the more I thought about it, it kind of went deeper than just seeking approval from friends and acquaintances.
There was something terribly sad about all of these movies.
There was your entire history on Facebook, however terribly and randomly compiled it was, and people were excited to share it and have people share in their lives. But the thing is, no one really gave a shit – and to be fair, why the hell should they?
Do you think that anyone watched more than one of those videos before they were like, “Yeah, OK, I get the gist?” But yet everyone was posting them, expecting them to be this huge comedic hit, expecting people to be wowed by their lives. But then in what seemed like three seconds flat, it went to an Internet sensation to a god-damned black hole of relevancy.
Ultimately, what’s so depressing about these movies is not that we somehow think that a one-minute video looking back on our couple of years using a social media website is worthy of someone’s time, but that for some reason we think it’s worth any of our own.
By Nick Laugher