Facebook Timeline: An Illustrated Field Guide (Plus a Few Survival Tips)

facebooktimeline_550.jpg
illustration by Claire Lawton (click here for the full-size version)
​Remember the day in September when we all freaked out about the new Facebook News Feed ... and then decided it wasn't that big of a deal? 
The big deal day has come. 

As Facebook rolls out its new Timeline feature and all your friends hastily update their profiles, there are a few things worth noting. 

We've drawn out the basics in the field guide above and added a few must-knows after the jump ... 

5. Yep, it looks a lot like Myspace. 
Facebook now offers an endless amount of customized details, privacy levels, featured posts, and ways to spend hours attempting to put your best social media foot forward. While users still can't customize their own cursors or backgrounds or choose songs that automatically play upon opening the profile page, we're placing bets.

4. Unless you update your privacy settings, your past posts (dating back to the day you joined Facebook) can be seen by your network. 
If you want to fix this, and limit your past posts -- including those slip-and-slide-down-the-dormitory-hallway and pink-panty-dropper-chugging photos -- click on Privacy Settings, then Manage Past Post Visibility. 

Note: content on your timeline that you've shared with "public" (don't know why you'd do this) or "friends of friends" (again, why?) will be changed to just viewable by the people we're sure you've carefully curated into your "friend" category. 

3. Look for the pencils and stars.
At the top right corner of each post, notice the pencil and star. Here's where you get to hide/delete the things you haven't already been screening from your boss/boyfriend/mom/roommate/future friend and feature (star) the boring stuff that will be marked as "important" and be viewable on your timeline.  

2. Yeah, you got glasses in 2008. Who cares?
With the new "Life Event" tool in the update box, you can publish TMI details about your life that can be categorized as: surgeries, weight loss, new tattoos, new eating habits, broken bones, home improvements, new cars, new roommates, changed beliefs, your first kiss, and new hobbies (to name a few). 

In case you've already been using Facebook to notify all 1000 people you've added to your network that you've fixed your sink, you can now slap a little label on there. Note: Spare us. 

1. Timeline is not mandatory (yet).
But once you click that shiny button that says "learn more" and "get timeline", you'll have seven days to quickly clean up your life before your friends and family can check out just how emo you were in 2007. 


Time to grab a glue stick and buckle up. Your Facebook life is about to get scrapbooked. 


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10 comments
BJ
BJ

Two days ago I clicked on to my timeline and everything was gone except for my latest post.  Now each time I post any new post ..the old one is gone.  When I scroll down..there is nothing under my only post....no photos...no art.....EMPTY  How can I fix this?

Victor Stanescu
Victor Stanescu

The new Facebook Timeline is a disaster for people's privacy,  This new update will make your life a bit too public unless you pay attention..

Once you activate it, I made an easy to follow guide on how to use the new Facebook Timeline wisely and securely: http://www.vectorash.ro/facebo...

F.B. Purity
F.B. Purity

For all the Timeline haters out there, there is a current method that works for disabling Timeline. They have not bothered to make Timeline work with Internet Explorer version 7, so if you view a Timeline page with that browser, it will revert to the old style profile page. You dont even need to use Internet Explorer 7 you can use your existing modern browser and just set it to fool facebook into thinking its IE7, and get to view Timeline pages in the old profile format.

Theres a guide on how to do it here: http://fbpurity.com/disable-fa...

VongMee
VongMee

Man I had no idea that Facebook was so cool.www.Total-Privacy dot US

William DeRosa
William DeRosa

If anyone needs help with Timeline, we created a 3 part video series. Step by step, everything you need to know about posting, privacy/security, API/app control and much more! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...And when you are done with the series, or have any q's, feel free to ask Q's on our Facebook page! We engage all day and night and give you help. http://www.facebook.com/talkin...

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