I’m not sure how I feel about Facebook’s Timeline

Since Facebook announced Timeline, I’ve wavered between seeing it as just yet another change in the website’s layout and genuine discomfort.

The unease comes from how bloody easy it is to see what I got up to during my fresher year at university – and anyone who’s been a fresher at Swansea University will know quite well why I’m not so fond of this particular feature of timeline. Cue the mass-deletion of inappropriate and, quite frankly, inane statuses from my past five years on Facebook (has it really been THAT long?) and much tweaking of my privacy settings to make sure my Facebook was well and truly locked-down to the outside world.

I’m probably being a little dramatic – for starters, the content isn’t so embarrassing to anyone but myself, but there’s something quite unnerving about the whole world being able to see how much of a prat you were in years past. Plenty of my friends and acquaintances have done the same, with some even planning to pack up and leave Facebook as soon as the new profile is forced on their accounts.

Yet all of this embarrassing content is information we have given to the multi-million phenomenon completely willingly. All this data was always available for people to see – Timeline has just made Facebook-stalking a bit easier.

Facebook has become such an integral part of our online lives, even with this discomfort, most of us will find it difficult to leave it all behind. The site plays on a certain vanity we’ve developed – like contestants on a reality show, we’d like the world to see what we’re up to, if only to prove how much FUN our lives are.

Now, people can broadcast what they listen to while revising, which newspaper articles they read that day or even geographically pin-point exactly where they are at a certain moment in time. So much for Big Brother watching us – we’re all just watching each other.