Sorry Facebook, But That Stuff I Share on Your Site is Not the “Story of My Life”

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[rant]

Facebook’s announcements today represent nothing short of a major paradigm shift of how it wants its users to interact with its service and each other. Sure, the new Timeline is pretty to look at, but on the scale of today’s announcements, that’s just a blip on the radar. What really matters is that Facebook now sees its missions are giving you the ability to “curate the story of your life.” Thanks to the new lightweight sharing features announced today, you can now quickly share (and bore your friends with) every article and book you read, every movie you watch on Neflix, every TV show you watch on Hulu, every book you read on your Kindle, every song you play on MOG or Spotify, and every picture of food you take on Foodspotting. Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true? Isn’t that “the story of your life?”

What I Share on Facebook Isn’t the Story of My Life – Not Even Close

scrapbook_flickrZuckerberg’s idea is that we will use Facebook to keep track of the “story of our lives.” I can’t help but wonder if that’s not one step too far.

I can see the reasoning here – after all, once you’ve connected everybody, you can’t grow by just adding new users anymore.

The fact that Zuckerberg would even think that users are putting “the story of their lives” on Facebook is just creepy.

If you really feel the need to share everything you do on Facebook and you think that that’s a good representation of your life, you seriously need to get out and try living your life a bit harder. We never share everything, we never want everybody else to know everything we do and often enough, we’d rather forget stuff than keep a precise record of it.

Digital Scrapbooking

Of course, if you are really buying into this idea, you can then relive all those glorious days on your timeline/digital scrapbook later on, or even get a nice graph with all the recipes you cooked in the new Reports feature. It’s all there in a nicely designed “frictionless experience.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I have no interest in using Facebook as a repository for all this superfluous data. A picture or two from my vacations is good enough – I don’t need to keep track of every recipe I cooked, every road I drove on and every morning run. Just like I wouldn’t be interested in offline scrapbooking, I have no interest in cataloging my past exploits on Facebook either.

It’s not just the data I might collect on Facebook (I doubt I will). I’d rather, for example, see my friends make very deliberate choices when they share something with me – not the one-click-and-forget kind of sharing Facebook seems to have in mind.

While Facebook is hyping the potential serendipitous discovery that this new system could allow for, my feeling is that this will just add more noise and very little value in the long run.

[/rant]

Image Credit: Flickr user Dean Michaud.

Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]

10 COMMENTS

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Additionally, what do people think of Facebook owning their life story and changing how it’s displayed whenever they want? It makes more sense for someone like WordPress to get involved at this level since they basically let you go install the platform wherever you want. Even Google+ goes to decent lengths to make exporting all your content easy. I feel like this is a nice interface update for Facebook but an overreach for how it was positioned. They should’ve at least addressed privacy and content ownership on some level.

  2. Old people won’t have as much of their lives on Facebook than younger people. I started using it in junior high so it will actually work for me. Sorry Facebook isn’t designing their features for the older generations.

  3. well i may not be an older person (19 years old), however i forcefully discovered that #facebook is sort-of an exploit to ‘screwing’ up one’s life, relationship, and attempting to make a waste of time. I did not nor ever attempted to date on facebook or intentionally make friends, except that these people added me.. eventually the site became as addicting as videogames for awhile, until having watched #thesocialnetwork, the movie changed my perspective interest on facebook and decided to leave facebook, it worked after few attempts, up to now, had not used it for 6 months. the idea to make a “story of my life” on facebook seems more like bull****! consider writing a memoir or a biography about your life instead of using facebook to accomplish this, or write a series of blogs with images. My point is that I agree with the person above, unless you are an aspiring artist, singer/songwriter, actor/actress, either have a profession of some sort which requires the attention of many to fulfill a goal of reaching towards an audience then this article would not affect you in any way ;)

  4. Here is an idea if you don’t want Facebook to display it, don’t add it. Secondly people need to stop infusing their meaning of life as its universal. Try living life harder, I know people that would say by you writing this article and me replying we need to live harder. To them writing is not living. That’s their opinion.

    Facebook is there if you like it, use it, if not move along. No one cares. I think people just like to hear them self talk in this attenion based economy.

    • @hybriddomainer This. If anything, I think the new changes made Facebook more relevant. I’ve been on G+ for months and was fairly close to bailing from Fbook completely, but I’m kind of intrigued by the new features (and the other new announcements). Maybe they’ll turn it around after all.

    • @hybriddomainer The problem for me is that I’ve been posting/sharing stuff on Facebook for years now. All this content was not very important (just thing I found interesting at the time) and was not intended to become an archived, easily accessible, representation of myself. The fact that the (old) wall feature only showed the last 10-20 posts and going back in time was very hard, meant these posts had a short lifespan. Now Facebook is making it easy (with no other alternative other than deleting posts one by one) for all my “friends” to dig up what I’ve been posting 4 years ago. Bottom line, when Facebook introduces such major changes we should have the tools to manage them easily. Otherwise they will have the negative reactions that they are getting.

  5. As a Facebook User who had it since it was called THE Facebook and it was only for .EDU account users. This Facebook is really dumb. The old Facebook was more for people to interact and help each other out with classes and job search, and maybe hook up. Now it’s nothing but people posting constant pictures of their kids life, posting pictures of what they will eat, Stocking old flames, pointless status updates, cyber bullying, and more… as if I care. I am not fooled and people who say the new timeline is great… like the guys says, you need to live your life.

    This is not a timeline of your life, but more of a timeline of your social networking history.

    Of course I don’t post anything I don’t want up their, however I only log on to my facebook every 3 months for 10 min and that is it. There is nothing new on Facebook to actually care about anymore. I am now more on Twitter and I am trying G+ now.

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