In the past week I've had lots of friends "yearbook" of pictures popping up on my Facebook news feed. They (Zuckerberg and gang) like to remind us of our year as we have posted it and give us a happy recap. But what if your year was awful?
I won't post my own "yearbook" as it reminds me of when I was bald from cancer and that my father is dead. How's that for depressing? There were other things that happened this year to all roll it into what I'll always recall as the worst year of my life to date and thank you Facebook, but I don't need a reminder.
This all of course begs the question: why do we post at all?
If we all remember, Facebook was created for college kids, by a college kid. It spread to high school kids and before you knew it, it spread to an older demographic (30% of users are age 25-34) who seem to have taken it over. And I, as guilty if not guiltier than most have taken advantage of it. I've posted hundreds of pictures of vacations, life and children.
I have several hundred "friends" in my newsfeed, only a handful of which are actually people I keep in touch with. I know, I know. It definitely helps me keep in touch with people that I had lost contact with and I am grateful for that. However, how many people really care about my life in pictures?
My husband has always chided me for spending time on Facebook and believes it to be a colossal waste of time. I however, like to see what is happening in peoples lives, updates on their children and their joys. I like to share my blogs and pictures of my own. But now that I've been recapped for 2014 it makes me question how much I want to share. It is open to interpretation by Facebook and to be frank, it creeps me out that they have decided what parts of my year have been "great".
The superficiality of social media is always an issue. Facebook has no idea when they "select" the pictures for my fabulous year in pictures what went on behind the scenes of said pictures.
My first group of pictures looks like just another set of vacation photos. Yes, we were in Mexico and sure that was wonderful. However, Facebook doesn't know that I was just healing from a double mastectomy and had just finished chemotherapy.
Now when I look back, I don't want to be reminded of that. Show me pictures of my kids, the scenery, my husband. But leave me out; that's how I would create my own yearbook.
My later in the year photo reminders are of myself with my father. Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that I can barely speak of my father's death without breaking down. Since he passed away in August, I can barely look at a picture of him. YES, the day he died I posted pictures of us together. The last photograph I ever took with him, five days before he died.
Now, I'm sure that on the surface those pictures look like any other days, some happy moments that I probably received a lot of "likes" (the only reason I can think of that Facebook uses those pictures). But because social media IS so superficial, there is no way they can know the pain behind some of those pictures and how it can hurt to look back at them now.
Don't get me wrong, there have been good things in 2014. I AM alive, I did survive cancer. I was very lucky to have done a lot of traveling and I do have many blessings. It's just really not up to Facebook to decide for me what the highlights were. And in saying that, I do enjoy sharing my world. It's just up to me to decide how much.
To those who have stuck with me this year, happy holidays!
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