Why the new Facebook Timeline is another shining example of privacy invasion that people will continue to put up with

Once again, a new Facebook feature is clogging the intellect of my Twitter newsfeed. I like Twitter because I can follow things that actually stimulate brain activity, versus mindlessly Liking things for a millisecond of satisfaction via clickery. I enjoy tracking news sources that can teach me things or people that have mastered the art of 140 character quips. Unfortunately, Facebook is of great public interest because the universe is tied into it, so whenever a new feature breaks through and stirs the ant farm, I still have to hear about it.

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. 


My my life is a bad comedy. And I'm tired of starring in it.

From now on, I'm going to act on my predictions and ideas when they come to me, instead of spending a month+ wavering between whether or not my idea may or may not be stupid for the may or may not be... intended audience. Today is the pickle on my shit sandwich of journalist motivation and pace of work. Here's why:

For months, I've been mulling over an article idea about cereals. It started at a grocery store in La Spezia, Italy, where I spotted my new favorite cereal that I would never see again in this country. I won't go into specifics, but this one cereal was intended to be the "star" of the article - delicious morsels that aren't, in fact, available here in the United States. I was going to accompany my words with a sweet infographic and even t-shirt ideas for the publication I was pitching this to - a great magazine in New York. My article plus extra mile of face-melting graphics and ideas for the company were going to come with a side of desperation and a plea for that once in a lifetime internship, the one that could put me on the map or at least give me a good beginning for the memoir I would write when I'm 75 and have gone nowhere due to my lack of haste. But excellent ideas aside, today I decide to go shopping at Target, an establishment which has earned my utmost respect in terms of bomb-ass deals on juices and snacky food (and even frozen veggies if you catch them on a good day).

This is the point where I will ask one question and those who formulate a correct answer can move on. 

* At Nicole's trip to Target, did she:

A). Run into an awkward ex 
B). Run into an awkward ex who had the same idea for a story pitch to the same magazine
C). Purchase a giant plastic bear filled with animal crackers for $4.97
D). Stroll down the cereal aisle only to find that the United States is now mass producing the intended star of her magazine pitch and selling them everywhere.

Sorry, the correct answers we were looking for were C and D. For those of you who are moving on, I know you Christmastree'd it. Be ashamed. 

As a Capricorn with an estranged sense of intuition, I know what you're thinking, so don't worry. Yes, I could still continue with my pitch idea minus the cereal that I was most passionate writing about. Yes, I could think of an entirely new idea and try to work on that. Yes, life will go on and within the next hour I will have changed into my fudge-stained Candy Kitchen t-shirt and be on my way to lift waffle cones into walking corpses' faces like a programmed cyborg. Yes, that will be $2.90 and $3.10 with tax. Two singles? $6.21 with tax. No we don't have senior discounts. Why should you pay less just because your skin is fucking ancient? 

Life is gross.