Ah, the holidays. The time of year when Facebook flexes its algorithms to compile all of your best social media posts into a Year in Review video. These little montages have been sprouting up like weeds on my timeline lately, showcasing many smiley faces and birthday wishes. However, they’ve also served as a lovely reminder of just how bleak 2017 actually was.
Here are a few examples from The Verge family and friends:
Heck, even Facebook admits that the biggest moments of this year were incredibly depressing. In its Year in Review blog post, Facebook cites that the top three online events of 2017 included International Women’s Day, the shooting in Las Vegas, and... the Super Bowl. Other major happenings included the earthquake in Mexico, Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston with flooding, and the benefit concert “One Love Manchester,” which raised money for those who were affected by the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert. “2017 was a difficult year with natural disasters and violence around the world, but it was inspiring to see people help each other when they needed it most,” says Facebook. Cool?
Oh, and people came together for the eclipse, so that’s nice at least.
Still, the Year in Review videos are a delightful illustration of how Facebook AI hasn’t quite figured out that it shouldn’t pair negative memories with cute graphics. But luckily for some, getting a video wasn’t even an option:
It’s not totally surprising, given that Facebook usage was expected to drop this year anyway. (Probably because being bombarded with constant reminders of politics, tragedies, and sexual harassment can be a bit too difficult to handle sometimes.) Also, because the teens don’t find it cool anymore.