Sometime over the next few weeks, the social networking site we all love to hate will be getting a major facelift. Forget all those little minor changes that have been popping up with increasing frequency over the past year or so that everyone loves to bitch and moan about, they’re nothing compared to what Mark Zuckerberg has in store for us this time around.
As most of you already know, especially you early-adopters and developers, Facebook will be converting all profiles into a brand new “timeline” layout which will archive pretty much everything you’ve ever done on Facebook since the very moment you joined the site. (Which I’m sure some of you area already regretting.) While this new timeline layout could actually prove not to suck giant donkey balls, there are some features and serious new privacy concerns you should really be aware of before your new timeline profile goes live. Keep in mind anyone you’ve allowed access to your profile will be able to see everything you’ve ever done on Facebook… ever. There are those of us who that idea simply horrifies. Perhaps you have overshared in the past and have been lulled into a false sense of security knowing no one will ever see those stupid posts again. Perhaps you have some embarrassing photos you would rather people not have access to. Perhaps you are simply like me, and you make it a very personal habit of constantly updating your privacy settings so as few people in the general public can see anything you don’t want them to. (Which in and of itself is probably a fallacy anyway, but you can’t blame us for trying.) Here is a screenshot of what the new layout will look like:
Now at first glance it doesn’t look so bad, right? It could even prove useful. It even gives you options you never had before to mark statuses in a plethora of different ways, share photos from way back, tag things you never did before… but as I said before, it also makes everything you’ve ever done on Facebook easily accessible to anyone you freely share with. Personally, this makes me uncomfortable and as soon as this new layout goes live I will be furiously combing the site for any changed privacy settings and adjusting them all to the “don’t show a goddamn thing to anybody without expressly consulting me” level. However, many of you may actually like this new layout. It’s certainly not hard on the eyes and gives people a chance to share things in ways previously unavailable on Facebook, which I thought was impossible, but way to go Zuckerberg, you’ve given the general public a whole buttload of brand new ways to ignorantly expose themselves once again.
Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m a little bit biased to this whole operation going down. As guilty as I am of sharing completely inane and stupid details about my daily life, my cats, my hatred of hipsters, and sometimes even my bowel movements, I still don’t particularly like the idea of anyone on my friends list being able to comb through my entire Facebook history with a few clicks of the mouse. So, with all that said, I’ve compiled a list of informative and also cautionary articles you might want to have a look at before you eagerly embrace or furiously demonize this newest huge change to Facebook. I suggest you at least read some of them and absorb the knowledge the developers have amassed.
Share with caution, my friends. Now more than ever. Or just migrate to Google+ (refer to SourBrains.Org migration article [HERE] for how-to guide.) Or, just wait for November 5th in hopes that the Anonymous hacker collective will in fact destroy all data on the Facebook servers one and for all. Guess we’ll see, huh?