Recently Facebook has been working on finishing their roll out of the new Timeline profile to all of its users (including us.) While Facebook and its 3rd party apps may be less secure than they used to be, the new profile view is, frankly, beautiful. The two-column display shows your photos in all their (relatively sizable) glory, and highlights what Facebook thinks is major events in your life, making them more prominent on your page. Profiles are much more attractive this way, but they also feature a new capability that may leave some uneasy, myself included.
Facebook’s Timeline features just that, a timeline, on the right hand side of your profile. Friends can now click through by date to view your history. While this makes sense for Facebook, and is pretty cool in theory, it might be slightly less so in practice. When I heard about Timeline, I was really, really excited. I love innovation on the web, and this seemed like some real change for Facebook. Additionally, it looked gorgeous, and I like that. What I didn’t realize at first though, was that this doesn’t just enable what I’ve deemed advanced, super easy Facebook stalking. It actually almost forces it. And that’s the part I’m not a fan of.
Today, I am a different person than I was yesterday. More to the point though, today I am an extremely different person than I was 1, 2, 3 or more years ago. While looking at my photos, this isn’t much of a problem. But when you start to look at individual wall posts, comments, etc. that are all being taken completely out of context (no, I don’t think you can get feel for where I was in my life at the time by reading a few surrounding posts…) you could get a picture of me that is not at all who I am now, and possibly not who I wanted to be. We’ve talked before about how this can be a problem, particularly when applying to college or a new job.
That being said, Facebook doesn’t give you any particularly easy way to remedy this. You can go to your Activity View, and go post by post, deleting what you don’t want, but if you’re like me and have 5+ years on Facebook, this is just not an option. The good news is, there are ways to get this done satisfactorily, and I’m here to show you them. So read on for the beginner’s guide to cleaning up your Facebook Timeline.