Are You Ready for Facebook Timeline? October 18, 2011 by Nathan Bransford 30 Comments I wrote my first article for CNET, on Facebook Timeline. Check it out!
I am not ready. I am not ready at all. BUT at the same time, it's interesting to think about being able to look at my grandparents' timeline. And maybe when I'm dead or something, it would be cool to have my life all organized and tidy like a scrapbook for people to look at. Which is kind of egocentric. But then Facebook is kind of egocentric.
So the gist is I'M SCARED. But I think you're right. People will eventually be cool with this.
Also, congrats on your first article! It has that classic Nathan Bransford flair.
Josin L. McQuein says
I guess I won't be using Facebook anymore. I don't use it much anyway, but that kind of data catalog is beyond invasive.
robena grant says
I get the feeling of being in a goldfish bowl. Thank goodness I only started FB a few months ago. Ha ha.
Diane T says
Interesting article, Nathan, but I'm left wondering: are YOU planning to use the timeline feature?
I'm thinking I might–I already find the "previous status updates" reminders pretty interesting–but I might wait until I see how other, braver souls make use of it first.
Vera Soroka says
I'm not a Facebook user and I don't think I will be anytime soon.I think we can get to know one another without it.
I still love the art of letter writing.I guess I'm in love with the victorian era or something.
I activated it a few weeks ago through some developer backdoor channels, and I LOVE it. I can't wait for everyone to start using it.
Gotta say though, after the first few weeks of looking at your dearest friends' timelines, I think the focus will shift away again to the news feed, as usual, and facebook will be exactly what it's always been.
What I'm a bit upset about is that their changes to their news feed algorhythm seem to have limited my feed and made it more boring. There are people I rarely see anymore and I miss them … I'm not used to going around to each individual page of my 150 closest friends just to see if they've updated something or if they've just been absent off facebook for a while. I wish I saw the feed as it used to be.
Kat Sheridan says
No. Just no on so many levels. My life is not an open book, and to be brutally honest, I don't particularly care to read all that stuff about others. I know the ones I love, they know me, and there's something inherintly sad somehow that people need the peculiar validation of having their life on display for the world. Sorry, just ick to the max.
One more thing. In looking at my timeline, I've discovered that 2007 was a pretty angst-filled year for me. All my status updates were basically 'fingernails-grasping-the-edge-of-the-cliff' snippets.
Looking back, I'm not ashamed. I actually left almost all of them up for people to see. It's a snapshot of who I was then, for people I know now to realize what I was going through and how I got through it ok.
I think I've always been aware enough of my audience, even on social media, to "edit" before I post anyway. I'm not ashamed of any of it.
I doubt most people will even read back that far, to be honest. I cringe more over a few long-ago blog posts than anything I wrote on facebook.
Rick Daley says
Excellent article. I'm withholding approval or disapproval of Timeline until I see it. I'm not that active on Facebook when it comes to personal / private info (at least I don't think I am) so I'm not too concerned about it.
Matthew MacNish says
I can't see it being that useful, but as someone pointed out, I would give an important organ to see my parent's life unfolded with so much detail. Especially my mom, since we lost her before I ever got to know her.
I understand the privacy concerns, but for some applications I think the good outweighs the bad.
M Kathy Brown says
Clearly not…because, for some odd reason, my cell phone/number is not compatible with the fb security system. FYI: You can't do Timeline unless their security can call/text your phone when and if you someday can't access fb :~)
Other than that, I'd already be doing it the new way!!
I really don't want to use FB but it's part of a writer's 'platform' and serves that purpose.
So no, I am not ready.
Excuse me,I have to go 'create lists' now and tweak privacy levels.
My favorite line from your article:
"And if the idea of having your entire life online and easily scrollable sends chills down your spine…well, quite frankly Zuckerberg should be forgiven for not believing you."
I'm actually excited about it. But I tend to be one of those open book, oversharing types. And I'm also that person who actually is interested in the lives of others. But not in a snoopy way. Well, alright, kinda.
Carrie Butler says
I haven't signed into CNET in ages. I think it's time to dig out that password and comment. Great work as always, Nathan! 🙂
Wow – this is an outstanding article, Nathan.
Loved your exploration of all the ins and outs, your analysis of Zuckerberg was insightful, and there's that Nathan flair of humor. Really excellent.
Now will you believe me when I say that one of your genres talents is non-fiction??!!
Of course, you may have believed me before, but just in case! 🙂
I'm loving my timeline and have been adding photos from my childhood. So excited to go back to my friends and see us all back in college!
Lisa Shafer says
It won't open for me!
A well-written article Nathan- thank you.
I'm a wait and see person too and it could be interesting, a non-event or horribly invasive. We'll have to see. . .
Kristin Laughtin says
Not sure if ready. I'll adjust, I'm sure, and I try not to put too many private matters on there anyway, but there are definitely a few periods I'm going to want to lock away or delete. I don't care if that makes the story of my life look inaccurate. I don't want to be reminded of them any more than I want random people I meet through the rest of my life to know all the details. If the event and the person is that important, they'll know about it.
Deniz Bevan says
I don't get it. What if you don't post every instant of your life onto FB? The most important stuff not even show up. Just a bunch of old cartoons.
Though, yes, I do wish I could see my grandparents' pages, and even further back.
Very well written article, Nathan, but I am so not ready for that invasion of privacy that I immediately cancelled my FB account. And it's not like I ever really go there and post things. My life is pretty boring. What would I post? Still writing…
Day after day that would be a boring thing to post. I've never posted anything embarrassing, so that isn't my issue either. I just think it is the most arrogant company ever. So I'm opting out. Thank you for the heads up!
It was a good article. And I think many people use fb for many different reasons. Some will embrace some things, others won't.
But I do think people get tired of fb. Some even get stressed out and need to take a break from it. So I do think fb will ultimately wind up being the hoola hoop of this generation. And we'll all look back on it with fond memories.
Not a big fan of total public self-disembowelment.
So I'm sticking to sequins and the occasional moment of light-headedness after one too many beers.
Adele Richards says
I've been waiting for this development. As I don't take time to blog much any more, I've lost that record of what's going on with the kids – so I'm glad it'll be recorded on Facebook.
Maybe I'm missing the point but I don't understand why everyone is freaking out. If you posted something for your friends to see last year, why does it matter if they go back and check it out now? Maybe I just don't have enough skeletons in my closet – or more to the point I keep the skeletons in the closet and don't put them on facebook.
By the way, are they keeping all your info on Timeline indefinitely – where do they store all this stuff??!!!
Congrats on the Job at CNET, Very respectable! You will do well.
J. Burroughs says
Great article, Nathan. Thank you for helping keep me in the loop with such things!
I am a big Facebook user, but I get irritated with them for implementing big changes and new additions with seemingly no warnings or preparation.
I tend to be a "tmi" kind of person and believe in openness, but this has not always proven the most fruitful in building relationships. So, while I will not have a personal or individual problem with Timeline, I do have to wonder how it will affect relationships past, present and especially future.
Great article. And no, I'm not ready. I still haven't quite adjusted to seeing my status updates from last year posted today. Of course, it won't keep me off Facebook, so maybe Zuckerberg really does know me better than I know myself, the evil genius.
D.G. Hudson says
I read the article on the CNET site, which was informative, but it didn't change my opinion of FB.
In answer to your question, no, I'm not interested in FB Timeline.
There's something invasive about these web-bots gathering our data without our express permission.
Does that mean using the 'facilities' of FB or other social media grants the supplier of those 'facilities' certain privileges and access?
Frankly, I am not ready. In fact, I'm still posting about how much I hate the NEW facebook. I have to admit that I LOVE the connection that facebook gives me to all my friends far and wide, old and new, but I liked it when facebook was merely a vehicle taking me on a pleasant daily outing, not a malevolent driver taking me places I have no desire to go.