Your Life In Review

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

The good people of WordPress opened their Year-End Review with those words – below this worldscape with bursting fireworks – and what blogger could resist? They went on to report that my busiest day was February 24, that one of the most-viewed was a piece on Eleanor Roosevelt from 2013 (Mrs. Roosevelt has nothing if not staying power) and most viewers were from the U.S. “with Brazil and Canada not far behind.” Come on, Brazil? The country of my birth comes through.

The cold, hard truth is that there are plenty of blogs that are viewed 5,800 times a day, of course, but you’ve gotta love the subway train analogy.

The sheer amount of data collected on our life’s work, and our lives, can still give one pause. WordPress is entitled. Without the nifty platform, easy-to-use format, multiple tools and automatic archive this writer would be virtually wordless. (Or restricted to Huffington Post, which attracted way more than 5,800 viewers to essentially these same words, but there’s a lot to be said for freedom of the WordPress.)

But what about Facebook’s now ubiquitous Year-In-Review? Who could resist at least scrolling through her life of the past year (and I hereby admit to posting the thing.) What boggled my mind was the uncanny way Facebook picked almost the exact photos I would have chosen. How did they know? Spooky.

Books have been written – and at least one film made – about The Examined Life, although I seriously doubt the Facebook algorithm-coders have read them. It has to do with trying to make sense of things, figuring out what’s important, sorting the good from the bad. Elevating the good from its place within the ordinary. Occasionally – though the idea was always for one to do it oneself – these Year In Review things may help with such a task.

But any way you look at it, our lives are undoubtedly being examined.

Farewell, 2014, and Happy New Year each and every one.



  1. That Facebook review was eerie, wasn’t it? I just clicked and suddenly all this stuff popped up – WITH narrative. I did post it on my FB page.
    BTW, are we FB friends? I’ll check and see. If not, I’ll send a request. And, I’ve finished your marvelous book. will probably reference it in a blog one of these days. And I intend to review it on Amazon as soon as I get over the holidays.
    Have a great year in 2015!

    1. Thanks, thanks! And yes, let’s be FB friends; spooky though FB may be it’s still a lovely way to keep in touch. I’m working on a HuffPost piece about the conflation of contraception & abortion by anti-abortion forces. Sneaky, and increasingly scary. My post blatantly (but with attribution) steals from your fine “Contraception and Human Social Well-Being” of last August. Is there another of your posts I should be sure not to miss while finishing up this one? New Year’s joy to you.

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