I’m getting the overwhelming feeling that people generally resent the Facebook Timeline. Take this comment made by an acquaintance of mine from high school about the Timeline: “Such a disaster, the world is ending, the sky is falling.”
Maybe it’s the contrarian in me, but I’m damn glad everyone is forced to participate in Facebook’s newest facelift. I like the Timeline, and I’m proud of it.
There are countless ways Timeline is superior to the old, outdated layout. I’ll start with the design: the ads are less invasive, there is much more space for virtual social contact, and the cover photo is a decided aesthetic improvement. One can highlight one’s own posts, and watch YouTube videos in high resolution. And those rectangular segments—I could go on about how beautiful that shape is. But I only have 300 words and I believe in expanding on my ideas—which, by the way, is why I hate Twitter. One hundred forty characters are never enough.
The concept I really want to focus on is time. Facebook has become the emblem of procrastination for many college students. But in changing to the Timeline format, we are reminded of our own existence in time—in a finite space, after all. Can we afford to procrastinate? We remember our birth, gazing at the right column that declares us “Born: 1990.” We scroll back effortlessly to 2006, and in coming to terms with our limits, as imposed by the form of time, we remember death. We remember thereby our obligation to live, while we still can. We can watch those YouTube videos in high resolution, but maybe we should refrain from spending all night doing so.