'My 365 Days In Print' Turns Your Facebook Timeline Into A Beautiful, Bound Journal
Living in the digital age, it's not uncommon for us to document our lives through social media. But what if we could take those electronic memories and turn them into something a little more tangible? That's what the service My 365 Days in Print does: It turns your Facebook timeline into a journal. But not just any journal; it's a beautiful, hand-bound journal that you can actually hold. And although it sounds a little hokey at first, I actually think it's kind of cool — and possibly even necessary.
It's easy to do; all you need to do is grant the My 365 Days in Print website access to your Facebook feed and it will compile everything for you. It will highlight posts based on how many likes they got, although you can also easily edit the whole thing yourself. It then lets you preview what your journal will look like, and if you like it enough, you can go ahead and order it (they cost €69, or about $75).
I'll use myself as an example: 2013 was a big year for me. It's the year I moved out of New York City after having lived there for a decade; it's also the year I moved in with my boyfriend; I took a few trips, covered some photo-worthy events, and adopted a cat. As such, that's the year I chose to preview. Here are a few pages from it:
Of course, the big question surrounding My 365 Days in Print is this: Why bother? At first glance, the service seems to fit under the same heading as the print version of Wikipedia we heard was in the works last year. But while I thought (and still do think, for that matter) the Wikipedia Book Project was at best unnecessary and at worst a huge waste of paper, My 365 Days in Print feels different to me. It feels a little more meaningful. Now that we store so much of the tenants of memory digitally — photographs, status updates, and the like… well, what happens if we end up somewhere without electricity, the Internet, or both? How will we scroll through our pictures, either on social media or on cloud storage or our hard drives?
And there's also this: As Hypebeast put it, Facebook is “the closest thing that resembles an actual journal for many of us.” As such, the result of the service — an actual, printed book — recaptures “the intimate feel of our everyday events,” even when those events were initially documented digitally. But while all of that is both accurate and thoughtful, I think a comment by My 365 Days in Print founder Pia Knoester filed on the service's website under a section simply titled, “Just a Thought...” answers it best:
In 2013, my mother started reading her own mother's handwritten journals about her daily life in the Congo-Kinshasa in the early '50s and in India in the '60s. My mother is typing them out, so that they can be saved for generations to come.
Think about it.
Yes. This. So much this.
This whole thing got my wheels turning: What other methods could we use to make the ephemera of our digital memories a little more tangible? I've got some thoughts:
1. Make a physical photo album.
Don't just store your pictures online; actually go to the trouble of printing out your photos and putting them in an album. If you love the look and feel of an Instagram photo, you can even use a service like Print Studio to make them concrete while still retaining all their filtered glory.
2. Keep a journal.
I started keeping a journal when I was 12, and I kept it going for probably 15 years before I fell off the wagon. I'm not sure why I stopped; it may have had something to do with the fact that I had started writing for a living by that point. In any event, though, I've been thinking lately that I should pick it back up. There's a limit to what we'll put publicly online even for the most overshare-y of us; those thoughts and memories are what a journal is for.
3. Make your own social media scrapbook.
Don't want to shell out the cash for something like My 365 Days in Print? Make a scrapbook of your own. You'll need a printer, scrapbooking supplies, and a whole lot of patience, but there's something about putting together a collage of all your favorite moments that's enormously satisfying. Just making it will be a walk down memory lane, so imagine what it will be like to read it.
4. Hang a bulletin board on your wall — and use it.
You don't have to make a whole “inspiration board” or whatever — but why not take the idea that sparked Pinterest and bring it back to its original form? The best part: It's a work of art that you can change up whenever you want.
5. Tweet something long-form.
There's only so much you can say in 140 characters… but what happens when you take a whole bunch of tweets together? Write a story. Write a novel. Rope in some friends and get a round robin piece going. Save them as you go — maybe through screen capping — and print them all out when you're done. Bind them together and marvel at what you made.
But all of that are just places to start. Get creative. See what you can do. Because at the end of the day, our memories are everything we have.