The Long and Short of the Timeline
Posted on 22 September, 2011 by Ellie Brecunier
The horse is out of the gates with Facebook announcing its new timeline profile. In a nutshell, your entire Facebook existence will now be displayed in chronological order. You may even fill in any gaps of your life that are missing on there if you choose, for instance adding baby pictures of yourself or that vacation you took four years ago before you were on the social network.
Obviously this feature will be interpreted in two ways: as extremely cool or uncomfortably creepy. Seeing the composite of our online selves laid out will be stark. It is kind of intriguing to be able to see your life in this fashion, but what really is the purpose and is this going too far? Where do privacy, user control, and, really, reality come into all of this?
And what about all of the people who would rather forget much of what they posted on Facebook, or are happy to move on? There is a lot more information about ourselves on there than I think we realize. As a Christian, I think this look at our lives will be quite telling. You can’t hide from the cold, emotionless Facebook-stored data that will emerge in timeline. You put it up there, after all.
All of our lives are a timeline. We just don’t get the chance to sit and look at them very often. God knows every timeline of every person in the past, present, and future. He knew our timeline way before Facebook thought of building it into their network, and He knows the fullness of it far beyond any status update or picture we’ve posted.
Regardless of our personal reactions to the timeline feature itself, I think we can take it as a point of reflection. Does our profile show us to be Christ followers? Does it show the type of life we thought we were living or desire to live? Does it even look like us, or did we make our online self bigger than our offline self? Let’s look at the bigger picture here, and focus on each day that God gives us, and make sure that it is lived to the fullest both online and off. That would make for a beautiful timeline indeed.