Now that we are attached at the hip to our technology (losing Wi-Fi for even 5 minutes is practically justifiable grounds for spontaneous human combustion), it is only fitting that we have found new ways to celebrate holidays that all involve the social media that we didn't have as kids. It's a whole new jungle out there, which means instead of fireworks and eating so much ice cream we get sick, we mark the New Year with trending Twitter hashtags, end-of-the-year round-up lists of celebrity happenings, and inevitably, the Facebook Year-In-Review posts that have probably been littering your newsfeed for the past week.
Like smushing a cockroach, no matter what you do, these pre-packaged looks back on the waning year just don't die. As soon as you scroll past one, another pops up. And look, I'm not saying that the entire concept of them is a bad thing. It is natural for people to want to prize their good memories. Why do you think hobbies like scrapbooking started in the first place? But there is something so unnatural about the social media version that it inspires this weird, forced brand of nostalgia, especially because these posts are right up in everybody's grill. If you don't know what I'm talking about (first off, where are you? Should we send help?), then here is the top of mine for reference:
Yes, I am repeatedly fake-dying in someone's arms, but back to the subject at hand. These things happened less than a year ago. Talk about nostalgia whiplash. I'd show more of mine, but the whole point I'm trying to make is how annoying these things are to put up in everybody's face, so I won't (just trust me that there's a lot of food involved). There are plenty of reasons we should all ditch Facebook's Year In Review in favor of healthier ways of looking back on your life. Here are a few:
They Can Be Triggering For People Who Didn't Have a Great Year
For some of your friends (and possibly you), 2014 blew chunks. Not only does their own Year In Review serve as an unwanted reminder to a divorce, or a death in the family, or a year that they spent suffering for any number of reasons, but seeing everybody else's happy-go-lucky post with the words "It's been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it!" tacked to every single one almost feels like an attack. The posts aren't very sensitive to the fact that there are very real and terrible things that happen in the course of twelve months in some people's lives that they don't necessarily want to be prompted to revisit whenever they login.
It Begs Us To Compare Ourselves To Other People, As If We Don't Do That Enough
You've probably ready half a bazillion times that stalking other people's social media can cause depression, simply because you cannot help but compare your own life to the happy, shiny lives that other people appear to be living based on what they choose to share online. These posts are just one more outlet for that brand of misery. Which brings me to my next point...
None of the Stuff In Those Posts is All That Accurate
Facebook decides what is important based on the photos that got the most "likes" on your newsfeed. It's not the most scientific system, and it certainly doesn't represent the actual great things that happened in your life—the things that social media couldn't possibly define with a picture that a lot of people "liked." I look at my friends' posts, the people I am closest to, and I see between the lines of the pictures themselves. I see the hardships and doubts that they endured, and things that they overcome. Those posts don't give us a shred of the actual things we should be proud about.
We Need to Stop Living in the Past
There is a reason people have told you this since you were a little kid, but just in case we all need to be told again: It's over. It's done. It might not even be a brand new year yet, but it's a brand new day, and if you get into the habit of looking back on your life you're never going to live it to its fullest potential.
...And Besides, It's Too Damn Soon to be Nostalgic About Any of This Stuff Anyway
You guys. You can scroll down like THREE INCHES on your wall to find this stuff because it practically happened yesterday. Go be nostalgic for things like the '80s and '90s that are actually far enough in the past to be worth your precious longing, not things that are basically still happening as you read this sentence. We have gotten so consumed by instantly notalgia-fying things that we can't even enjoy the present—we're literally just taking pictures in hopes that they'll pop up on posts like these again next year.
It's Kind of an Invasion of Privacy
One more quick reminder that Facebook is basically Big Brother in social media form before we get on with 2015, y'all.
SO MANY DAMN NOTIFICATIONS
I'm the New Year's version of Scrooge in saying this but FELLOW HUMANS OF FACEBOOK: I ALREADY KNOW I WAS PART OF YOUR AWESOME YEAR, YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAG ME IN AN ELECTRONIC POST BECAUSE I WAS THERE. Okay, I'll calm down now. Sorry.