I’ve read about the new Facebook Timeline feature today. It’s a feature that lets you see your data organized in a timeline in your profile. It looks like this:
Like anything they do, it left a bitter taste on my mind. I already understood why people use this, but I still get rather sad thinking that humanity is willingly formatting itself into that stuff.
The web is a recording device
The web is a recording device, it means that whatever you put there, it’s going to be recorded and be a trail of you. Right now, thanks to the diversity of the sharing platforms available online (unfortunately still not diverse enough), you can have several trails, you can move your trails from there to there, you can delete your entire trail, you can decide of what is left of you online. With tools as popular as Facebook, that just offer you the interface, people tend to forget the innate freedom they have to broadcast from their own “antenna”, and they start formatting themselves into that single possibility of the Facebook profile, because it’s easy. They leave to Facebook the power to format, present and keep their data in a way that they can remember their life, but not in a way they chose to remember it. The format is fixed, inflexible, not customizable, you can just get stuck there without you even noticing. After allowing to list unborn children as family members, it’s clearer and clearer where Facebook is taking its crowd.