Facebook: Till Death Do Us Part

How Mark Zuckerburg has set out to follow us all from cradle to grave. Nice thought, isn’t it?

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Facebook has already made us into amateur photographers, would-be philosophers, enlightened critics and
sophisticated party planners – but now it seeks to make us immortal.

Some believe the new Facebook Timelines have made us even more vulnerable to the data hunter gatherers out there. But in reality, nothing much has changed. Yes, our information has been organized in a much more coherent and accessible manner but it was all there before.

Boo, hiss, etc. 

It is fair to say that we are no more vulnerable now than we were before the advent of Timelines (a.k.a Doomsday). The new system dutifully tracks your entire life from your birth, through the difficult teen years, in and out of university, past marriage, then retirement, until presumably, death.

The promotional video for Timelines itself looks like an advertisement for the latest Sims instalment, and is coupled with the nauseating tagline, “Tell Your Life Story” – despite the fact that, in real life, this phrase is usually preceded by the words “please don’t”.

Interestingly, Facebook purposefully released Timelines in beta form almost a year before its launch, so that programmers, bloggers and industry experts could get used to it and swell the tide of inevitable “Plz Bring Back Old Facebook!!!!!” groups.  So what now?

Gone are the days where one would rustle though their attic in search of treasure, only to find a horde of lost family photo albums. From now on, if you run into an old school friend that you’ve fallen out of touch with, it’s no longer a fortuitous chance to reconnect– it’s because one of you purposefully decided not to continue your friendship, probably out of dislike. Awkward encounters, therefore, are on the rise.

Facebook also filed for its IPO yesterday morning and Facebook Timelines has become mandatory for all users. Clearly, Facebook is trying to prove to its potential shareholders that it has longevity; that, with its massive demographic expansion, the opportunities are limitless.

Indeed, Facebook intends to be with us forever, from cradle to the grave.