Facebook LooksBack – Laugh cry or maybe cringe?

As Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday, much fun is to be had through the auto creation of a recap of your “life” on Facebook.    This is where embarrassing photographs that were publicly posted just might come back to bite you!


facebook 10th birthdaySet to music, Facebook captures the year you joined Facebook,  some of your first pictures, status updates that received the most likes and then a random selection of your photos.    So far we have seen some really beautiful ones – and for those of us who have been on Facebook for a while, it can be quite heartwarming to review moments in time.    Personally it reminded me of how I dropped my “my space” travel blog and started using Facebook (ah Venice :-) ) and then there were a few “oh that’s an odd one to have in there!

Reliving happy status updates made me smile:


 I think this is one of the real “feel good” sides to Facebook.   Where this can go wrong of course is where photos have been posted which may not show you or others in a particularly good light.    A video highlighting a nasty bullying post that received a lot of likes is not something to be proud of.  A young lawyer shown lying in a drunken pile after too big a night out may not help her career path.   A photo that belongs in the “you had to be there” category might not be so easily understood by others.  (By the way, I did ask the owner of the photo below if I could use it provided I crossed out the face!).



Thankfully the videos are not designed to be shared (the servers would probably overload with the massive number being produced), however nothing can stop you taking screenshots and using them for good or evil (or a blog post!).

As Facebook “looks back” at your Facebook life you might shed a tear, laugh out loud, cringe or turn various shades of red.   If something particularly negative shows, then make an effort to go back through your Facebook history and delete and clean up.   For teens about to head into their College/University years, this is a really good opportunity to have a laugh about “those things kids do” and then remove them from the public eye.   Don’t let a silly moment affect your future higher education choices or how a future or current employer may view you.    The videos default to public, so make sure you change the settings just to share with your family and friends.

On the subject of looking back, Hanna Ingber and Jenna Wortham collected some amazing comments from readers of the NY Times for the article “… the transformative power of Facebook for better or worse”.  It shows the highs and lows of our online social connectiveness, but there are some really lovely moments.  You can read the article here

If you haven’t played with Facebook’s birthday gift to us, you can create yours here – Please tell us how it turned out.  Enjoy your recap!

Happy 10th birthday Facebook.




About Fiona Lucas

Fiona Lucas is the founder of iRespectOnline, providing education, training and strategies on managing your online reputation and social media. She is passionate about driving social change towards a more respectful online environment. This has led her to recognise the importance of authentic reputation marketing to align message and experience. Is your brand and/or name top of mind? Is it top of mind for the right reasons?

Fiona has recognised the need to bring the concept of reputation management and marketing to the forefront of online education, particularly with progessive generations growing up savvy with social media tools, but perhaps not so savvy with the online consequences of their interactions.

The concept is applicable not just to individuals, but to celebrities and businesses, as reputation and brand walk hand in hand. Having worked in the education sector for 15 years and then as a social media strategiest, Fiona has seen first hand the damage which can be caused to a reputation through the poor use of social media. Social media is a brilliant tool for magnifying messages, but unfortunately it magnifies mistakes too.

Fiona's qualification including certified Trainer & Assessor, a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in HR Management, eCommerce & Accounting along with an IT Certification. She also completed the pilot 7 Graces project "7 Graces Foundation of Ethical Marketing) course.

Fiona is the author of "Future Proof your Kids" a guide for parents and is currently writing her new book "Fantastic Futures" due for release in 2015.

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