According to various news outlets, blogs and a smattering of newsfeed posts, Mark Zuckerburg is about to change social networking yet again. Only, by “change social networking,” they mean ”pry the lid of your carefully curated and closely guarded Facebook profile and generally piss everyone off.” I’d been hearing whispers of this Timeline phenomenon for a week or so, but it wasn’t until I read this article in Time magazine that I finally realized what it actually means. Let me break it down for you:
• Your profile page is going to be replaced by Timeline. This means several things. First, apparently Timeline is “a lot prettier” than the current profile page. (Cool?) Second, you’ll be able to add a an oversized “cover” photo in addition to your profile picture of choice. Third- now pay attention here- people will be able to backtrack through your entire Facebook history.
Remember that naughty pirate costume you wore to a date party your sophomore year of college? Yeah, so will everyone else.
• Zuckerburg also announced the upcoming implementation of Open Graph, a device (program? app? whatever) that will allow 3rd-party companies connect their apps with Facebook users more “seamlessly” (read: stealthily and likely more privacy-infringing). Huh. Well what does that mean, exactly? I’ll tell you!! It means that if you check “yes” to the one-time, all-encompassing blanket permissions request, any apps you have/use (Spotify etc) on Facebook will automatically share details about everything you do when you’re using that app….right down to which chicken you sold on Farmville and when.
Whereas prior to this Wonder-App, you had to physically click “like” for individual songs on Spotify before it showed up on your Facebook profile, now it will happen automatically…Regardless of how you feel about the world knowing about your closet love for Destiny’s Child and Justin Bieber.
There’s always backlash whenever Facebook changes anything, but this time it’s different. For example, when I joined Facebook I was a senior in high school. For those of you who are bad at math, that means I was 18 years old. I am now 25 and would prefer to forget several ill-advised hair cuts, boyfriends and costume parties that Facebook Timeline will undoubtedly resurrect from their internet graves. I suspect there are a good many people out there with equally incriminating photographs who would also rather leave them in college (or stashed in a drawer) than have them plastered all over their Facebook wall for a second time.
So it would seem that our options are A) discontinue Facebook, or B) ride it out and see how awkward things get. And I’m betting they get really awkward. But what can we really expect from the King of Awkwardness and Bad Customer Service.
So…..how do you feel about all this?