I’ve been wanting to talk about Facebook’s “Timeline” feature for some time now, but I figured I’d give it some time to die down from the initial media hype and address what most people’s concerns and annoyances seem to have been since its release. By address, what I really mean is pull some of the gems people have put up about how much they hate using the free service that they are in no way obligated to keep using.
Let me just be completely honest with you, dearest reader, and tell you that I find it increasingly difficult to tolerate complaints devoid of any substance on the Internet. If you hate something, either bring a solution to the table or let it go. If you cannot do either, rest assured that it is not that important.
Without further ado, I present my favorite response to Facebook Timeline and my takes on their takes.
Alma Matter is a memorabilia company for schools and colleges in India. Their founder, Varun Agarwal, posted a note on Facebook to complain about Facebook (the link in case you want to comment on their page http://goo.gl/kfgpp). I have to admit I’m incredibly impressed with both the company and its founder, both are incredibly successful. But as I read through this list, I suddenly realized the essence of nearly every article on the web denouncing the new feature was here.
While reveling in the meta-nature of the list, there’s something I can’t quite forgive, and that is self-absorbed criticism of the supposedly self absorbed (grammatical errors left for full effect, italics are mine). Bear in mind that nearly every other article you can search on Facebook Timeline will run through similar topics and viewpoints, this just happens to be the most condensed one I’ve seen.
1- Ok firstly I think its really creepy. I mean opening up your entire life to everyone and more importantly your past is a bit uncomfortable.
You mean what you’ve already posted is now a pressing concern? Please tell me how much you value your privacy as an afterthought.
2. Its too much on the eyes. There’s so much going on I don’t even know what to see and what not to. I think Fb profiles worked because of their simple and streamlined designs. This is quite the opposite.
You mean it’s. Too much content? Too much stuff to do? Change your settings to filter out what you don’t want.
3. Since there’s so much already going on the Timeline page most people will miss out on the FB ads unlike before. This could also mean some loss of revenues from their only source of income.
Dude, those ads are still front and center, creepily accurate links to things I’ve been looking for. I’m surprised for all the hubbub about privacy that this seems the least pressing concern. Since you are a business owner, the surprise wears off very quickly. Also, Facebook Ads should never be your sole source of income.
4. Its way too heavy. I mean if you don’t have a fast internet connection then you’ll just stick to the news feed.
It’s. It’s. IT’S. IT’S. If you don’t have a fast Internet connection, 5 bucks says your neighbors have cracked your WEP encryption.
5. There are a lot of pictures you were tagged in like 5 years back which suddenly pop up. So there will be a lot of untagging to do.
Reliving poor decisions seems to be the only real fun in photos on Facebook.
6. FB says that if you publish your timeline then you cant make any more structural changes to it. So I’m stuck.
I’ll reiterate, if you don’t like something that has a closed system, don’t use it.
7. A certain section of the Orkut crowd that has recently invaded Facebook loves putting up pics of dead or dying people and tag you on it. So you’re timeline resembles that of a convict or a mercenary than anything else.
These sound like true friends. Frightening, disturbed friends that don’t seem to understand that what happens on 4chan should stay on 4chan and not on Facebook, lest someone be offended.
8. Dumwits who love putting up pictures of celebs as their profile pic will now have an even bigger canvas. They can now put pics of 2 celebs rather than 1 as their profile pic.
I can’t even begin to describe how the misspelling of a word meant to belittle someone’s intelligence makes my faith in humanity flicker a moment.
9. Creepy guys will now stalk unsuspecting pretty girls even more because now there’s more to look at even if you’re on super privacy.
Where’s the super privacy button? Also, if it’s on the Internet, it’ll find a way into the public eye, nothing can change that other than simply disconnecting oneself from the Internet entirely. I wish those brave and intrepid souls who seek out the comforts of a Luddite-inspired worldview the best of luck in finding a way to do so.
10. Your mom will now know how much you’ve been drinking, smoking, partying and everything you’ve been up-to for the past 5 years.
So you haven’t called your mother in the past 5 years? She must be worried. For the record, stupid decisions are rarely private. Having a good time isn’t something to be ashamed of your mother finding out, but this may not be the case for everyone.
Let me be extremely clear once more: if you don’t want to use Facebook, don’t. It is not mandatory. People seem to forget this, since it has permeated every aspect of our lives (media, advertising, links, Facebook Connect, etc.). There are plenty of concerns to be addressed on the issues of ever changing privacy and debates to be had on the very nature of issues like anonymous v. full name requirements in signing up to use a service. There’s no right or wrong answer on these, and I do not intend on even scratching the surface here. My point in all this is to keep to two simple rules when it comes to being online:
1- Stick to valid criticism.
2- Social networks are not mandatory. If you want in, roll with their changes.
My sarcasm and comments may be a bit harsh, but this is the Internet after all. To post and not expect backlash for half-baked ideas is extremely naïve.
See comment button below if you’d like to talk, happy browsing!