Facebook is probably the most popular social network at the moment. All its users are now discussing the new upcoming update scheduled to take place within the next few days: Timeline. Your profile will never be the same again. Despite the ironic pun in the title of this post, you will not be able to pick Timeline over your current profile and viceversa and, there is no way back. This is not a tech blog or anything, so what we’re now trying to do is analyze the way Facebook is now shaping everyone’s lives, from a humanistic approach.
If you thought Facebook had too many intrusive elements to people’s lives, think again: Timeline should multiply that effect! Not only does it give users the chance to tell everyone where they are, who is with them, what they’re listening to and share almost real time pictures with their friends (that is happening now, even without Timeline), but the upgrade will allow people to see their profile as a diary. Yes, remember the diary you used to keep locked away in some drawer or an old closet in the attic and you’d get mad at those who would read it even by mistake? Well, it’s the same now. And you’re also showing it to the number of people you select. Why is that? I would call it ‘social pressure’. If you ‘befriend’ people on Facebook, they have expectations and you know it. They’re watching you and expect you to reflect your personality through this social instrument that Facebook is. If you think about it, you’re already sharing a lot of information you wouldn’t otherwise share with acquaintances, maybe with friends but not acquaintances: there is no difference on Facebook, despite the recent addition of lists.
Graphically, your profile will now seem to be split in halves, as your updates will both be visible on your left and right in a chronological order. The big news is this diary goes straight back to the date of your birth, so technically you can add information and events back in time, which does not make any sense! My view is not anti-technology or anti-progress, but that is as long as it does not give a false illusion. What the new Timeline will bring is for every Facebook user to see, and only time will tell if this will be an appreciated Christmas present or not. The update should be available to everyone this week.