“Timeline does not reveal any new information about you or change any of your existing privacy settings,” a Facebook spokesperson has said. And this is true.
The changes compromise your privacy only to the extent you have elected through your own settings. So, if previously you let the public see your posts (are you a celebrity? Because if not, why would you do that?), then that remains the case.
What is newly compromised is your dignity, which is precisely why I became an early adopter of Timeline.
In fact, after a limited launch on September 22, when 1.5 million developers signed up, and a New Zealand-wide test run from December 6, Timeline became available to the public on December 15.
Those of us who signed up to Facebook in 2007, aged 23 – when we were young, foolish and too immature to recognise just how revolting FDA (Facebook Displays of Affection) actually are – know that our early Facebook lives were littered with sickening exchanges with ex-boyfriends.
So the moment I had the chance, on December 15, I took the Timeline plunge and headed straight for the Activity Log (a new Timeline tool that makes it incredibly easy to see every post, picture, comment or exchange that has ever gone up on your profile in reverse order) and began deleting all the embarrassing traces of an ex-boyfriend’s existence. Now, nowhere on my Timeline does it say, “Loves ya, baby,” or similar.
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