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The Pros and Cons of Facebook Timeline
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Milwaukee Ridiculous: The Pros & Cons of Facebook TimelineBy Elizabeth Cramer
Originally published in the April/May, 2012 issue of Alcoholmanac Magazine (Volume 5, Issue 3)

Just when you thought Facebook was updated for good and its “look” would be staying the same, another change has come.

It’s mandatory and has sent the world into a virtual tizzy fit. Brace yourself for … THE FACEBOOK TIMELINE!

The timeline format will soon take effect Facebook-wide, but not everybody is looking forward to it. As someone still on the fence, I wanted to take a cold, hard look at the pros and cons of the situation.


Pro: Obama Approves.

Of course he does. Mark Zuckerberg is the only person more powerful than he is and could get him kicked out of office with a single wall post. Also, Oprah invited Barack to join Facebook and they play “Words with Friends” all day. Or at least, I like to think they do.

Con: It makes profile pages look like a child’s torn-up collage of magazine photos.

Ironically, the one thing a timeline is meant to do is create order, which has yet to be found on any of the Timeline profile pages.

Pro: It wards off the unwelcome “old people” who annoyingly use Facebook to their own demise.

Remember when your parents first got a Facebook account and they were like, “Look! I’m on Facebook! Just like all you youngin’s! Madonna’s my friend-Look! Oh, oh-I just friended Kelly Ripa, I bet she’ll be a good friend, huh?!”

Remember how you just didn’t have the heart to tell them Madonna and Kelly weren’t really their friends because you knew this was a lesson you’d have to let them learn the hard way?

These days if you ask your parents about Timeline they think you’re talking about time travel. They can’t even recognize one of their 9 friend’s profiles. But this also means they can’t ask you all the annoying questions about how to navigate the site because they literally cannot comprehend it enough to warrant questions. They panic after login.

For this reason, I say Godspeed you Facebook. Because if I have to explain to my mom the difference between posting on someone’s wall and sending them a message again …

Con: It slows down browsers because of its increased content.

Well, this goes back to a previous point, but let me spell it out:

No one over age 55 should be allowed on Facebook. If you carry an AARP card or take a Centrum Silver multivitamin every day, you need to cancel your Facebook account immediately.

I’m sorry, but anyone over 55 has been alive for a substantial amount of time, right?  Therefore, their timeline is freaking long and now all of Facebook is suffering because it’s slowing down the system. I seriously can’t load my page because all these super grown-ups have pictures starting from the 1940s and, I hate to say it, but Grandma’s timeline is melting down Facebook’s server space.

And don’t tell me that us young people take more pictures. All of my drunken weekend photos combined can’t beat 80 solid years of life in a timeline. FACT.

Pro: Some nerd will figure out how to remove Timeline anyway, so don’t worry about it.

Sure enough, when you type “How to Remove” into Google, “Facebook Timeline” is the second and third suggestion.

“How to remove wallpaper” is the first suggestion, which makes me wonder: who’s still putting wallpaper on walls?

Oh wait, I know: People over the age of 55.

Con: It forces Americans to face their pasts …

“Timeline is a media-rich profile page designed to tell the story of the user's life organized in reverse chronological order from present day to the user's date of birth.”

First of all, I had to read that 3 times before I actually understood it. But that’s not the point.

Is this really what people want? We went crazy when they changed the privacy settings a few years ago and now they’re trying to ORGANIZE MY PAST? I can’t even do that. Most therapists can’t even do that.

And do I really want everyone to see my personal, awkward story of human growth as a Facebook flipbook? No. Nor do I care to see growing-pained photos of my boss, my high school classmates, my friend’s dog, or my creepy mailman.


Pro: It distracts Americans from doing shittier things.

You know how they give criminals puzzles in prison to stimulate their brains and to distract them from killing other prisoners?

Well, just think of what people could be doing if they weren’t wasting the day away playing with their Facebook timeline. I mean, sure, they could be doing productive things too…like, actually working at their job or volunteering at a food shelter instead of just “liking” pages about food…but who knows?

In a world full of violence, I like to think that somewhere under the stars, there’s a super messed-up creeper working feverishly on his Facebook timeline with his gun safely locked in the basement and his unmarked, white van parked outside of his trailer…

… What can I say? I’m a romantic.



And that’s the facts. It looks like overall, there are more pros than cons to the Facebook timeline, which makes me feel better as it looms closer and closer. Either way, we will remain with our necessary evil: Facebook. Yes, she is a harsh mistress, but we know we’ll always come back for more. What’s funny is that even though everyone “hates” Facebook and says they don’t use it, they totally do. It’s like people who say they don’t eat at McDonald’s. Well, yes you do. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be 30,000 McDonald’s in the world and 845 million Facebook users. Let’s be real.

Similarly, I know I won’t cancel my Facebook account just because they keep taunting me with “advancement” and “progress” like the Facebook timeline, but I will write Mark Zuckerberg letters about it daily until he bans me from Facebook. And I’ll probably be 55 by that time anyway, so, touché, Mark Zuckerberg, touché …

Sincerely,
The Milwaukee Ridiculous