Posted by: in News on Dec 16, 2011
Facebook’s new design shows everything in our online lives. This can be an interesting toll or just another privacy problem.
Those happy days when you got a good job, graduated or started a relationship are memorable for you, of course, but soon they are going to be accessible to hundreds of people. To make it happen requires only a single click.
Facebook released this week a new tool named Timeline. This means that every piece of information, picture or comment you have online will appear in your profile in an organized way: you just need to choose the date to know what happened in your life during that specific time.
It’s possible to do this using the old Facebook’s features, of course, but then information was buried below countless updates. Now it’s there, ready to be remembered again. “We think it’s an important next step to help tell the story of your life”, said Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook creator, a few months ago. “Timeline gives you an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect your most important moments,” explains Facebook’s official blog.
The Timeline can be an interesting new tool - it may very well change the concept of social media – but many are already concerned. In many ways we really should look carefully at this tool before deciding how to use it.
Probably the first thing you may think when using Facebook’s Timeline is that we are putting so much information online. Facebook knows every important thing about 800 million people worldwide, and this, one must admit, can be alarming.
The second thing comes when you understand that the new Timeline exposes every little piece of your online life, and surely this can be a problem. Think about a study developed by a British organization named MyMemory. The research reveals that 76% of all pictures published on Facebook in the UK have some connection with alcohol. Yes, this means that almost 8 out of 10 pictures published on Facebook show people getting drunk. The problem gets worse now, because the new Timeline organize people’s life per day (or even per hour, minute...) meaning that, with a single click, all those pictures will be accessible in a row, showing everybody the user’s alcoholic routine. Who knows what problems that could cause at work.
The new Facebook tool is already polemic. “It allows you to see nice moments from your past like when you became friend with a particular people and allows you to feature moments that are important to you and that you want it to remember in a year's time. I love it.” - Commented a user from the UK. Another one, from the US, said: “I just don't like that it lacks user’s privacy”. Many users are doing one question: “How can I remove it?”
Although many are complaining about the new tool, Facebook’s Timeline will be permanent and very soon all users are going to start using it. There is no way to avoid it, it’s true, but you can edit your Timeline before publishing your online life to everybody. To avoid problems with user’s privacy, the Timeline has a security tool. From the moment a user activates the function, he/she has a 7-day period to review everything that appears on it, removing any information or picture. After this period the Timeline will be part of the user’s profile, being accessible to everybody. So perhaps it’s a good idea to remove some of those “I am drunk pics” from your profile.
For those of you who don’t have Facebook’s Timeline yet but are looking forward to having it, you don’t need to wait until it appears automatically on profiles. On facebook.com/about/timeline it’s possible to activate it immediately.
Maybe one day Facebook will even allow users to see the Timeline of the social network itself. It would be amazing to remember Facebook’s life story – and all the layout changes – since 2004.