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Don't look back: #10YearChallenge takes internet by storm

Dylan Amirio

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, January 16, 2019  /  05:53 pm
Don't look back: #10YearChallenge takes internet by storm

Actress Dian Sastrowardoyo has posted photos of herself for the '#10YearChallenge' on her Instagram account, which juxtaposes her role in 2009 film 'Drupadi' and 2018's 'The Night Comes For Us'. (Courtesy of Instagram/-)

So, one decade on, is your life substantially better? Is it everything you pictured it would be? Are your looks better than when you were a child? Where have all the good times gone? Are you happy with your job? Or do you daydream at the office about your life void of responsibilities a decade ago?

These issues seem to be the core of the currently viral #10YearChallenge, which has taken social media platforms by storm, with users posting pictures from a decade ago juxtaposed with photos of themselves in 2019.

The trend initially started as a variation of the #HowHardDidAgingHitYou challenge and the #GlowUp challenge, both of which aimed to foster positivity about physical looks.

As a social media-savvy species, we Indonesians have a lot of photographs to choose from, as many of us have an online archive reaching as far back as 2004, when social media site Friendster was all the rage.

But in Indonesia, our take on this new internet challenge seems to focus mainly on nostalgia for our younger, wilder (and fashionably regrettable) times, or we merely compare our lives (and looks) to what they were 10 years ago.

Is that an exercise in self-reflection? Or is it a silent, painful trip down memory lane, because some of our lives are not what we pictured them to be 10 years ago?

Some users have gone beyond the 10-year limit and posted snaps from as far as 11 or even 15 years ago in their posts, triggering reflections on their entire life.

Yes, those snaps of long-haired, crooked smiles that we once thought was cool seem silly in hindsight, prompting us to ask, ‘why did I ever think I look good with that hair, smile, shirt and so on and on’.

Local celebrities have risen to the challenge, offering their own takes on their decade-long transformations and journeys.

A prominent one liked by moms and celebrity chasers alike is the post of Maia Estianty, which is notable because she credited her hairstylists and make-up artists for both photos.

Other celebrities, like Risa Saraswati and Rachel Vennya, showed a more visible transformation, as both women now sport hijabs.

Most of the who's who of Indonesian celebrity circles have joined in, from Dian Sastrowardoyo and Shandy Aulia to Desta and Sandra Dewi. Dian posted four shots for the challenge on her Instagram profile, which juxtaposing her role in 2009 film Drupadi and 2018's The Night Comes For Us

Some played along with a humorous approach to it all.

Filmmaker Joko Anwar’s post shows the same picture of him in both the 2009 and 2019 slots, with the 2009 picture differing only in the tone of his skin (which could be down to the fact that mobile phone cameras at the time were not as developed as today).

Foreign figureheads Sarah Silverman and Jameela Jamil did the same thing with their challenge posts.

While this exercise seems like harmless fun, it also poses a possibly worrying future outcome, due to the fact that Facebook, the source of many of these postings, as a history of selling user data to data mining companies such as Cambridge Analytica. User data could also be exploited by surveillance agencies and companies.

Chronologically specific posts spanning10 years can create a tidier set of data that can be mined by surveillance agencies or companies for facial recognition or artificial face generation technology.

Of course, this scenario may come off as a conspiracy theory only paranoid people entertain. The data could just be innocently used for very targeted advertising. No big deal.

In the meantime, don’t mind that; just go and explore your declarations of self-love and self-reflection. (ste)

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