Facebook recently announced the release of “timeline.” You can find more than your fill of tech analysis elsewhere, but I’m questioning whether or not it’s good or bad for creating lasting relationships.
For example, I understand people may post an update about losing a loved one for support, etc. Heck, you may actually use Facebook for your friends but now it’s easy and attached to your life timeline?
When I meet someone at an event and we become friends you can learn about my losses, broken bones, and failed relationships. If I choose to be diligent, I can curate my timeline to tell a slanted story. Then, is that timeline really me, or is it who I want you to think I am? Friendships and relationships in general have a pace and cadence to them and that makes them amazing. Learning too much upfront is not interesting. Moreover, it’s actually more likely to hurt you. This is why the “intro” and first impression is so important and why the “chase” is what creates a bond. During that period of not knowing whether the other is invested, we reinforce the importance of this person to us. Having this distant means of “learning” about each other gives us many opportunities to rationalize why the person doesn’t make the cut.
My care isn’t about privacy, it’s just not how humans build lasting, caring, deep relationships. I’d be happy to hand someone a document that outlined my life but we don’t just download each other by hanging out. We get to know one another and part of that component is time. What’s the fun in knowing about things in advance prior to a person telling you. That’s the majesty of sitting side-by-side or face-to-face and hearing their story retold, re-digested and with hind-sight’s learnings, for the first time.
Personally, I disagree with the premise that we are defined by our past; rather, at every moment we exist as a greater sum than that of our experience.
Setting aside my awe for the amazing tech, beautiful design — does this bother, irk, worry anyone other than me?
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benwerd/