Say what you will about Facebook’s Look Back videos (and people are saying everything from I Love The Facebook Look Back Videos to No One Wants To See Your Facebook Look Back Video), they are a great lesson in prioritizing.
Most of us are drowning in our own images — printed, duplicates, digital, back-ups — and we finally sit down to organize them, we hardly know where to start. If we do get started, we struggle with editing and end up with an overwhelming number of framed photos, scrapbooks, albums, stories and more. It’s the dreaded 1960s vacation slide show times 100 (“is it over yet?”).
What Facebook has done with its Look Back videos created in honor of the company’s 10-year anniversary is compress our lives into 1 minute. Depending on how you use Facebook, what you’ve posted and what kind of friends you have, the video can be a meaningful snippet of the past 10 years or a mess of funny images you should never have uploaded in the first place. But no matter what: It’s 10 years in 62 seconds. Not an image more or a second less.
There is a lot of power in telling your life story in 17 photos (more or less). It forces you to consider what’s really important and meaningful. That picture of your first-born smeared with birthday cake on his first birthday isn’t so cute anymore, huh? Pictures of your living room remodel feel like wasted film (or pixels) now, don’t they?
And sharing your story? Rare is the person who turns down a 1-minute video (I know, I know, your News Feed is plastered with videos right now, but if your friend specifically asked you to look at Look Back video, you could spare a minute, couldn’t you?). It moves fast enough that even if it’s not so special, you know it’ll be over soon. And if it’s a particularly good collection of photos, you might even watch it twice.
If you haven’t tackled your pile of photos (and even if you have), think about making one book or story or video about your whole life with just 17 images. That’s a doable project and if you prioritize appropriately, you would have a powerful piece to share with people about your life. About you.
And that deserves a thumbs up.