Suffice to say, the personalised video went viral as more and more people noticed that users where sharing something that supposedly encapsulated their time spent on Facebook during the last decade (or however long you'd been using the site with your current identity).
In some ways this is what Facebook does best: it speaks to the narcissist in us. When we see our friends or our contacts posting something personal that they've liked, and by default, recommending that you do the same (or else why share it?), then you have the perfect ingredients for user engagement. Or so we may be led to believe.
The reaction to those video montages has been interesting. Some users, having seen their montage and liked it have then gone on to share it, hoping that their friends will also like it and share their own. This led to a cavalcade of spam in people's newsfeeds as more and more people posted their personalised video.
Several of my friends were quick to complain about this process, and with some justification. These videos are individualised and perhaps not really relevant to anybody other than the individual (or perhaps their significant other). When faced with this 'feed spam' they admonished other users for being so vain or narcissistic.
This highlights two or three interesting and interlinked facets of social media:
One of my 'highlights' was a picture of Iggy Pop with his stomach cropped to be his face - a funny joke from B3ta but certainly not a highlight of the 7 years I've been using the site. Some of the other selections where downright bizarre and included one of those games early (2009?) Facebook users used to play where they tagged you in post, then you had to find a random image and a random Wikipedia post and make an album cover - clearly not a significant part of my life but something that Facebook's algorithm misunderstood as 'relevant' because of its virality.
|Fake album cover (2009)|
This exertion of authority is another aspect of the narcissism that social media can encourage. Expressing dissatisfaction with what others are doing is a classic strategy for asserting that your way is the right way - that you are superior to others. So, by both sharing the personal montage and by berating others for doing so, we've demonstrated some of the most egotistical behaviours that humans are capable of.
The best response is to say nothing. Don't feed the data gathering beast. Perhaps we've had enough of social media and it's time to say goodbye?