07/02/2014 11:57 GMT | Updated 09/04/2014 06:59 BST

What Does Your Facebook 'Look Back' Video Really Say About You?

The Facebook 'Look Back' video brings on an uneasy sense of having your life flash before your eyes.


[PHOTO/Sara Firth]

I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. My friend and I are hunched over her iPhone and have just watched her Facebook 'Look Back' video.

Facebook have done this to celebrate their 10 year anniversary.

The reason my friend thinks watching her video is a good idea is because moments before we watched a video posted on another friends page and it had looked so romantic and happy and had been filled with lovely moments.

So she clicks on the link....

Up flashes the first teeny tiny picture of her from 2007 when she joined and she's pulling a weird face.

The next image is an old drunken photo that we'd doctored during our University days so it carried the campaign slogan 'Alcohol: Know your Limits' emblazoned across the top.

Naturally since getting real jobs all evidence of these types of nights have long since been deleted (or so we thought).

The remainder of the 62 second video is a montage of glasses of wine, bizarre status updates and one gorgeous photo braggingly captioned 'View from my office' which was lovely except 'I was fired two weeks later' she cries.

Then it finishes.

That is how I end up with tears running down my face, trying to catch my breath.

'It's alright for you, it wasn't your life that just flashed before your eyes' she says accusingly.

The mournful look on her face and her obvious distress is enough to calm me to a hiccupy giggle and remind her that she had in fact (Facebook 'Look Back' aside) in that same period of time, qualified as a lawyer and gone on to climb the ranks of immigration law. Yes there were mistakes along the way. Firings and failed relationships and way too many glasses of wine but she'd also achieved a lot.

That's not enough to placate her fully so naturally I do what any good friend would and stand in solidarity. We watch my video.

I don't fare much better - my montage is like the ghost of relationships past.

Now I'm the one who needs the pep talk.


[PHOTO/Sara Firth]

The thing is social media has and will continue to change our world in weird and wonderful ways.

But it is not our world.

Some of you have got married, some have had babies, some of you are travelling the world, or have got your dream job, some are just clinging on for dear life hoping to survive the ride.

But I bet during all these pivotal 'life event' moments the best thing about them won't have been the fancy wedding photograph, the picture perfect family snap you've shared, the profile picture of you on a beach in Thailand looking way more laid back than those who love you know you'll ever be.

Life's messier than that. It's often the imperfect bits that matter most. It's smiles and glances and laughter.

It's the conversations that could never be condensed into 140 character witticisms.

Sometimes it's the painful bits too. The tears and heartbreak, moments most of us would never dream of sharing in a status update.

It's the hilarious look on my friends face as she views her (quite frankly brutal) Look Back video.

10 years of Facebook - our world has gotten a little smaller. We're the Facebook generation and are more connected than ever before and it's a wonderful platform to showcase an often carefully constructed image of our lives.

But the important stuff, the real stuff is still taking place outside the confines of Facebook.

When I 'looked back' I realised the best moments, real life, is the bits that happen in between.