01750: Shedding Snake Skin

In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Facebook released a nifty Look Back video feature that algorithmically created a sort of highlights reel of your entire time on Face book thus far. I was a little late to the Facebook game since I had initially resisted joining but had finally given in back in 2008. So Facebook had about 5+ years of my social media content to play around with and feature in the video. The results were pretty interesting and it was certainly worth the 1 minute of time spent watching it.

One thing interestingly absent from the video was anything to do with my ex. At first I thought this was a happy coincidence, but then I realized that I had only been on Facebook for about a year by the time we eventually broke up. Sure it was a very lengthy relationship, but it was one that didn't coincide with Facebook being open to the global public. And so it was largely absent from my Facebook activities.

It's funny how such elements of technology have also become markers for our personal histories. We've moved past relying on things like photo albums and scrap books and now we have social media sites and other such digital archives of our memorable moments. The advent of digital cameras and increased efficiency of digital storage media means that we're documenting so much of our lives whenever we can. We post status updates about the most random of thoughts that cross our minds and we have videos of some of our craziest moments.

But as much as so much of our lives today are captured by whichever social media platforms and mobile apps that we enjoy using, there's a lot of our lives that aren't captured. Sometimes it's because of timing - many of these services are fairly young. Other times it's just about convenience - we didn't bother to document them electronically.

I've been blogging since 2003 in a weird attempt to document my personal history. But even that isn't a perfect record since I made the transition from LiveJournal to Blogger a few years ago. And while I was able to find a way to archive my prior blog spots (and in a way my prior relationship) as a PDF file, it's not as accessible as this blog. And thus as we adapt to newer technologies, we end up shedding the old like a snake would shed its skin.

I know of people who quit Facebook after a break-up and choose to not go back since it links to too many memories of the past. They may eventually join another social network or they might create a new profile under a different name or something. We all have our ways of using technology as an aid in moving on from one phase in our lives to another. It's an interesting adaptation of human coping mechanisms in this truly digital age. Or at least that's how it comes across to me.

Or maybe I'm just reading into too much in a little gimmick that Facebook put together for its 10th anniversary.