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Subjective Experiences of Interactive Nostalgia

Edited By Ryan Lizardi

From explorations of video game series to Netflix shows to Facebook timelines, Subjective Experiences of Interactive Nostalgia helps readers understand what it is actually like to be nostalgic in a world that increasingly asks us to interact with our past. Interdisciplinary authors tackle the subject from historical, philosophical, rhetorical, sociological, and economic perspectives, all the while asking big questions about what it means to be asked to be active participants in our own mediated histories. Scholars and pop culture enthusiasts alike will find something to love as this collection moves from a look at traditional interactive media, such as video games, to nostalgia within all things digital and ends with a rethinking of the potentials of nostalgia itself.

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7. Subjectivities in Automated Nostalgia: Social Media and Everyday Nostalgic Longing for the Past/Present (JeongHyun Lee)

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7. Subjectivities in Automated Nostalgia: Social Media and Everyday Nostalgic Longing for the Past/Present

JEONGHYUN LEE

Introduction

About a week before Christmas every year, every Facebook user receives the notification, “This is your memory of the year.” Once the user opens the Facebook account, the notification appears on their News Feed with a short video, which is composed of the selected photos and posts of the user on Facebook. This feature, called Year in Review, takes users back to the past through the automatically generated video by Facebook’s algorithms. This chapter focuses on Facebook’s past-oriented features that encourage us to be the nostalgic subjects who eternally engage in the past with the algorithmically suggested ways.

Since its first launch, Facebook has developed platforms and services to create, store, and evoke memories. Even though their major platform, News Feed, has emphasized the “now” of users in order to let them post their status in an almost real-time, Facebook has shown the continuous interest in creating platforms and services to make their interfaces the “sites of memory” for communities and individuals (Nora 1989, 7). On the following year of introducing their first memory-related feature, Timeline, Facebook launched the Year in Review feature. After minor and major changes in the service itself, they relocate the feature to the inside the new tool called Memories in June 2018, which is composed of four sections showing users’ past posts and...

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