As I've said for over a year, Facebook is the ultimate invasion of privacy. Malware that looks like fun. Spyware that comes in a fun package. Like buttons, games, a vortex of photos that your friends and friends of friends of friends who you haven't spoken to since high school can see, unless you have your privacy settings tweaked perfectly (and sometimes even that doesn't matter).
And here comes the Facebook Timeline. The definitive archive of every move made by each Facebook user, in a neat package to sift through with ease, stapled to profile pages. Don't like the idea? Too bad, so sad.
In a nutshell, the Timeline will organize everything that's ever touched your profile, in chronological order, starting the day you birthed that Facebook profile baby that you now wish you could smother to death with a squeaky giraffe pillow.
Before the new Timeline feature "rolls out" or "goes live," users are given a seven day period to activate the feature themselves, allowing them to edit their personal information before others can see it.
Isn't that sweet? Mark Zuckerberg is allowing users to be proactive with their own information before Facebook does whatever it wants with it. Cool.
Aside from the FTC investigations and gargantuan contradiction that Facebook is as a whole, I keep hearing the same arguments and reasoning from users alike.
"What's the difference? It's all out there anyway." - Everyone
"Well, people should be more careful about what they post online." - Everyone
"What? That's crap! I'm leaving Facebook.
Wait, who just liked my status about Pita Chips? Oh yeaaaah!" - Everyone
Minus the guy with the Pita Chips, both are valid points. However, the word we're looking for here is control.
Control within a personal, social website that encourages you to have fun with it. Control of your online identity. Control of what people see and how they see it on your own page. To say people should be more careful about their posts is irrelevant. If I've posted nothing but photos of kittens and smiley faces since the day I subscribed to Facebook, then that is my information to control on Facebook. Until now.
Facebook has morphed into a monstrous online trigger for omnipresent cognitive dissonance. People find themselves hating it, threatening to leave it, dealing with it, learning to love it once more and moving along until the next uproar. To compare Facebook to a domestic violence case would be a little ridiculous; I'd prefer the term rape. Rape that starts in a back alley of Palo Alto that permeates through your veins, eyes, guts, ears and keyboard until they spill onto the screen of a friend of a friend of a friend's iPhone. You're Liked. Tagged. Notified. Poked. Messaged. Invited. Requested. Information sequestered.
The Facebook Timeline is coming and it's here to stay. For those of you who give your profile no permission to be used in advertisements, wake the fuck up. You are one.
Learn to Like it.