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I've had a play with Facebook's Timeline. It's interesting from a personal perspective to look back at the past five years but there's so much that I wouldn't want someone else to be reading. It seems like too much information about me for people to be able to discover. While it's been possible for people to access my photographs from years ago, in a sense they were out of context. Now you can see context because of the posts I made myself and those made by my friends on my wall. Once the service goes public, I'll be limiting access.
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33 comments
 
yep - I agree I think it's a neat way to organise your content - but yes you don't really want to be sharing it with everyone! I'm thinking of tightening up my lists as well - but maybe that's not necessary.....hmm ...dunno still pondering that one.
 
I find the novelty fascinating, and from a personal point of view it was nice to be reminded of certain things that I had put to the back of my memory, but the thought of people scrolling through the last 5 years of my life is more than a little concerning. So far, I can't seem to find a way of generally 'turning off' periods of my life, I'm sure this will come. But still, just another odd turn in the progression of Facebook towards far too intertwined with my personal life.
 
This is why I'm very restrictive in terms of who I'm friends with on Facebook. If I wouldn't be comfortable with someone piecing the whole story together then I'd consider them inappropriate to be a 'friend'. But I assume it's possible to remove items and thereby create an edited timeline of your Facebook 'life story'?
 
I'm restricting my lists even more and erasing/hiding photos/comments/status. The stuff that FB thinks we want to add is totally hilarious: "broke a bone" or "got a license" or "add a roommate". Why on earth would I put that on my Timeline???

I also find seriously weird that the births of my younger relatives show up on my own timeline...
 
I agree with those of you who say that it is personally not for you, because personally it is not for me either. On the other hand there may be many out there who love it.

Only time will tell. I have the Timeline, and I am leaving mine empty. It is possible to customize your info (or so I am told).
 
I can see all sorts of issues with deceased people, former partners and stalkers all potentially popping up.

I de-activated my Facebook account on Tuesday.
 
The cynic in me would think that this is part of G+'s strategy to get Facebook to shoot itself in the foot.
 
+Craig Cockburn Surely only Facebook can shoot itself in the foot. Nothing Google+ can do can force their arm.

Maybe the people in charge at Facebook don't think things through very thoroughly.
 
+Jonathan Marriott I suspect they have thought this through pretty well actually. It's part of what appears to be a two-pronged approach - get people to stay longer on FB (through the new apps etc) and Zuckerberg's apparent continued desire to move people away from expecting privacy as a default.
 
Most people I work with are concerned that history is now far more easily accessible than it was before which concerns them. I agree with you +Jonathan Marriott , I'm not sure Facebook thought through all of the implications before implementing this. What's interesting for me is that the biggest concern seems to be from people under thirty - those who you would expect to be more comfortable with these sorts of features.
 
I'm considering a serious friend cull simply because of the timeline. I activated mine and having to go through and decide on who gets to see what is overwhelming. Can't find a way to restrict it globally to Close Friends only.
 
+Neil Dymond-Green The problem comes when something really uncomfortable gets raked up from the past. It might not be uncomfortable today but who knows the future.

I like privacy to be the norm. Too many public displays of stupidity on Facebook...
 
Glad I'm not the only seeing privacy issues. I've been on there since 2006 - long before they had Facebook groups. My standard posts these days have a customized filter on them. All my older posts don't have that - forcing me to individually go in and change each one. So annoying and frustrating. Thinking I may need to cull my "friends" as well. I didn't activate mine yet - but it will go active in a week.
 
+Jonathan Marriott Couldn't agree more. Meant to say that I don't at all like what FB is aiming for. Considering leaving it myself.
 
What people don't seem to realise is that this was always there on Facebook - if you looked hard enough. Now it's more obvious maybe it will make people more careful about what they share.

And of it also begs the question - how happy will you be in a few years' time for your Google+ activity to be just as visible?
 
+Rory Cellan-Jones to remphasise +Jonathan Marriott 's point - privacy has been been baked into G+ from day one, so I've shared plenty of stuff privately. It was only added recently to FB and there's no way to restrict all that old stuff without going through everything individually that I can find. Seriously uncomfortable with colleagues and non-close friends seeing a lot of it.
 
+Rory Cellan-Jones I'm sure there's many people out there with pasts they'd be unhappy with their current friends happening across.

Hopefully it'll be optional so only the saintly will have their past shown... 
 
For a platform that was originally designed to hook people up for dates, random play and "anything I can get", it is a bit surprising complaining about privacy now IMHO
 
amen, to that, brother. I think it's a bit much, really. I don't want anyone to see that much of my life.
 
You're right +Rory Cellan-Jones, the information was always there - but having to click back through someone's history page by page made it far harder to find before. Now, with Timeline, it is in your face. Worse, you can't easily delete or lock down those old posts. That is the concern that I and many of my friends have.
 
+Paul Shetler I just feel relieved that I got divorced before Facebook came along. I can imagine the dilemma you're in.
 
The ex partner issue is one that resonates with me. I didn't mind people finding pictures of us together if they were desperate enough as he remains one of my closest friends. But it all just looks a little in your face now.
 
Spent a lot of time looking at mine today and because I've been in the same job and relationship basically since I joined Facebook it's not such a problem for me. But if I changed jobs or (god forbid) my relationship ended it would present a huge problem.

If this is going to work they need to give you an option to retrospectively limit it to just current Close Friends. Or let you have different versions for Close Friends, Family etc.
 
+Chris Betterton, I wouldn't mind some of my very close friends seeing it if they want to. But at the moment it seems like it's everyone or no one.
 
+Rory Cellan-Jones, I think the other issue is that some of the content on mine pre-dates the friends lists feature and certainly before Facebook actively started pushing them. At least here, the stuff on Google+ that is "public" has always been public and the stuff that I've shared with some specific groups of friends won't be seen by anyone else/
 
+Benjamin Cohen Yes, that's my worry too. I've enabled mine (and checked there's nothing in there I don't want my colleagues to see) but there's no way I can find to set the whole timeline to Close Friends only. You have to go through each and every entry and set the privacy option retrospectively.
 
I've had a 'close friends' group on Facebook for more than a year now and they would be the only people I would let see the timeline, if it is possible to have custom settings. At the moment my Facebook is pretty private with a few public updates, very few public photographs, and everything limited to fiends, not limited profile.
 
On FB I do make some 'public' posts but only of c4 news related stuff. Photos with probably a few exceptions that I haven't notices have been limited to friends. 
 
Why not make your profile private and remove it from search and build yourself a page for public interaction as a professional?
 
I have put my timeline live. I removed most of the personal stuff from the public version so it's just work. +Sarah Booker the reason why I want one profile is that it's easier to manage (like G+) and prevents double posting. About 100 of my FB fans are also my friends so they don't want to see double doses of me!
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