“I love you more than anything <insert name here>”,
“Oh really because in March 2008 you said that you could never love a person as much as you loved <insert different name here>”.
This situation could soon be facing approximately 800 million men and women across the globe when Facebook eventually launches its new ‘Timeline’ feature.
Yes, at the risk of upsetting everyone (again) by making a significant change (again), Facebook have decided to completely revamp personal profiles by introducing a timeline feature which enables you and all of your friends to quickly access historical information. Sounds good right? Actually, I’m not so sure…
Nathan Bransford recently blogged that Timeline is like an online episode of “This is Your Life” for each and every Facebook user. Much like the show, for the individual concerned it can be moving, embarrassing, cringeworthy, funny, heartbreaking and more. For each month of each year that you’ve been on Facebook you (and everyone else) can see the friends you made, photos posted, statuses, relationship statuses, ANYTHING that at that particular moment you wanted to post. Herein lies the problem…
People Make Mistakes
Yes although I am a fine specimen of a man, I have in the past made mistakes and I’ve done so publically on Facebook. In fact it seems that in modern society when people are angry, upset, elated, or anything in between, many people turn immediately to Facebook to post a status. We’ve all done it in the past but would we want people to see it now? I used to get so frustrated at football games that I would be ‘f’ing and blinding’ all over my Facebook wall. At that moment in time I wanted to say those things, but I don’t want people to see them now. Of course, I could go and delete the posts, but seriously is anybody really going to go through their entire Facebook history with a fine-tooth comb deleting and editing things – I doubt it.
Most of us have had more than one relationship – with some memories that we’d like to keep, others that we’d sooner forget and that we’d rather others forgot too. I’ve been lucky that none of my close friends or family have passed away in the Facebook era but others are not so fortunate – would they really appreciate being reminded of that time?
Facebook is Intrusive
These days I don’t post on Facebook much – I have actually deleted my account before now and managed to ‘stay clean’ for 4 months! In my nature of work though, it’s quite difficult not to be on Facebook and as bad as it is, you do feel ‘out of the loop’ without it.
The fact is, many people already find Facebook to be too intrusive and to be quite honest Facebook is a stalker’s dream – it is already easy to see exactly what our ‘friends’ (come on nobody really has 100 friends, let alone 1000) are doing. Soon we will be able to easily see what they have ‘done’ too. As Mark Zuckerberg said, “It’s all here; it’s your whole life.” Now THAT is scary.
Timeline Looks Great
I don’t want to be entirely negative here. I’ve been using Timeline for a while (app developers, and those masquerading as app developers got it early) and it looks and functions really well. The large ‘cover’ image is a nice touch and the way you can roll down the page at the touch of a button is really swish. I don’t mind laughing at some of my old hairstyles (anything Beckham did, I thought I could do better – see above) and old statuses too.
In fact I really think some people will love it. If you have no skeletons or bad memories in the closet then it could be really fun, but unfortunately not all of our lives are or have been perfect. Some of us like to keep the past in the past and it just feels a bit like Timeline is preventing that.
Give Timeline a chance. It could be that you really like it, or like me, just never really use it. What I will say is that it definitely made me think about what I was posting. Don’t post something that you might not be happy to look back on in a few years’ time and that you wouldn’t want your friends, family or potential employers to see.
Can’t See Timeline Yet?
It’s coming. There’s been some legal hold-ups but rest assured, everyone will be looking at what you did in 2006 very, very soon.