Facebook’s Ch-ch-ch-changes

Facebook, like Steve Jobs’ Apple, is constantly coming up with new features and improvements. But unlike Apple, some of Facebook’s are not as secure.

The new timeline just hit Facebook, but who knows if it will be more problematic than it will be successful. Not only will this feature allow you to see chronologically-depicted events (with visuals) since the time of an individual’s reported birth, but it will be add a whole new level of creepiness to Facebook stalking. The intention of this feature is to add to the already overwhelmingly personal representations of the lives of individuals on Facebook.

Facebook has given us a variety of communication methods, however even though Facebook has connected so many lost friends and families and shortened the distance between them it seems completely irrelevant to know so much about another person and have their daily lives so easily accessible.

It’s scary to think that depending on privacy settings, this information can be viewed and stored by an outside party.

Even with privacy settings there are search engines that can still access that information. It isn’t necessary or productive. If anything at all it is an Internet safety hazard. It may be amusing to an extent, but there is only so much amusement one can get from another individual’s life.

A golden rule of what to post on the Internet is if you don’t want your grandmother to see it then don’t post it. However, nowadays people don’t really follow that unspoken rule. This is a shame because our overall sense of humiliation has diminished. Not only are we being given the tools to view everything about someone, we can see scandalous versions of themselves through this timeline. This timeline will store this information forever, and it can come back to bite you.

I don’t know about you, but if my employer knew what I was saying and what I was doing with my friends, that job or potential job wouldn’t even be an option anymore. Facebook’s timeline is nothing but harm to today’s already media-infested society. Most people are able to retain information about minor personal occurrences in the lives of sometimes-redundant celebrities. Honestly, how many times has Lindsay Lohan been to rehab? With the new timeline, not only would we have the lives of celebrities on speed dial, but that of our friends and family.

Facebook’s social networking mechanism is systematically going more and more socially accepted, but continuously more and more dangerous. This is a lethal combination, sort of like the effects of drugs. The public, especially the younger generations, are becoming addicted to Facebook and the amount of personal information it provides. Sooner or later this phenomenon will be diagnosed as a disease.

With all the obvious downsides to the new Facebook timeline, there are some perks that this timeline was intentionally created for. For example, it does show more information about your friends and family, so that if you geologically far away from them you can still see what they are up to. Parents can monitor their children’s whereabouts. At the same time, kids can make sure their parents aren’t doing anything crazy in return.

This new feature from Facebook can ultimately be an accurate depiction of one’s memories and interactions with everyone over the course of a lifetime. Except in all honesty, what is it really worth? It isn’t a memory book or a diary of one’s lifetime events. It’s simply a timeline that does not serve any additional purposes.

It seems to me that the Facebook timeline will cause many legal problems in the future. At the present moment, privacy issues have been one of the biggest problems on Facebook as well as hacking issues.

Even with the privacy settings put on the highest amount of security Facebook can offer, outside third parties can access that information.

Overall, the Facebook timeline is going to be more of a hassle with the law than it will be helping anyone. Facebook seems to be already cramming more and more features onto one page. The Facebook timeline will just add to the list.

Sejal Patel is a first-year political science major. She can be reached at sejalsp@uci.edu.