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Facebook Remove the Sadness from Year in Review

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The other day on Facebook, I saw someone share a memory - of sharing a memory. The level of dedication Facebook has shown to nostalgia has reached the point of being utterly baffling. They're treating it like a new feature, but you've been able to log past life events for ages and the 'on this day x years ago' feature has been around for far longer than people might necessarily realise. There have been a few variants on the 'year in review' as the service has progressed, but the official 2014 one was the most notable, if not quite for the reasons Facebook wanted it to be.

You see, Facebook wasn't quite as respectful/tactful then as it is now, and if it needed to gather old photos or whatever else, it did so fairly indiscriminately. As a result, many people found that when their year in review was finished, it was replete with reminders of ex-partners, lost friends and dead relatives. Jheeeeze. The issue largely arose because couple photos, and commemorative photos of passed loved ones pull in a lot of likes, but in the former case the likes can become tainted after a breakup and in the latter they are more messages of support than positive reinforcement. Facebook wasn't equipped to account for that.

This time around, Facebook have learned their lesson, and this time around they've developed a means of accounting for all the negative energy. It's not anything overly sophisticated, you just get shown a draft of the review and can change around the pictures as you please. It's nothing too fancy, but it allows people to simply determine which images they think best sum up their 2015, rather than making the decision for them.

Probably just as well, I had a look at mine, and the images Facebook had selected on my behalf were almost all pulled from Bestival, meaning that 80% of my 2015 was summarised by one weekend. It was a hell of a weekend, don't get me wrong, but a lot of other things happened, funnily enough.

Facebook have also been developing some more sophisticated tools to deal with the presence of bad memories, but if you ask me they should just dispense with this nostalgia thing altogether. Encouraging people to sift back through old memories constantly just taints them, regardless of whether they were happy or sad. Think about it, how often do you really go through a photo album in a year? Once? Twice? Certainly not every day, that'd be weird. Social media should be about encouraging interaction, not burying it in nostalgia, but people seem to eat it up, so it's probably not going anywhere. Sigh.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Facebook Remove the Sadness from Year in Review Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Rating: 5

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