Facebook – Timeline application

It’s a wonderful life

Facebook Timeline, a complete overhaul of personal profiles that is being rolled out in the coming weeks, is built around a similarly simple and powerful idea: what if you could see your whole life in one place?

Timeline is a way of visualizing your life (or rather your life as it has been lived on Facebook). You can easily scroll through and see the friends you made, the photos you uploaded, your relationship statuses, and even your illnesses and surgeries–if you choose to share them. You can see highlights from a particular year or bore down to individual months and days.

It’s a beautiful–and beautifully designed–vision, and it makes me wish my grandparents had magically used Facebook their entire lives so I could go back and scroll through their Timelines to learn more about them now that they’re gone. I could easily see photos of when my parents were born, what my hometown looked like 50 years ago, and what it was like to be a fledgling beekeeper in Eastern Oregon during the Great Depression.

If Facebook’s vision comes to pass, Timeline could be a visual catalog of every life ever lived, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We could see the benchmarks in our friends’ lives, watch people age, see their old prom and wedding photos and the birth of their children.

In the words of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, “It’s all here, it’s your whole life.”

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