Today I did something I had been meaning to do for a while now – I tried out Facebook’s Timeline and spent hours going through everything I have ever posted to Facebook since I first joined in 2007. Why did I do this ? Well, on February 12th Facebook will switch all it’s users profiles to the new Timeline interface and everyone will be able to see every small little thing you ever so graciously shared with your numerous friends !
According to my Timeline the biggest events in the past five years were: I finished my undergraduate studies, moved to a new apartment four times, I twice moved to a different city, had one new baby and celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary… sounds all pretty harmless, right ?
Thankfully for me, my immediate family (including my parents) joined Facebook early on and for an extended period of time my university department’s former dean was one of my Facebook friends, which is probably why I was never really tempted to post anything even remotely indecent or inappropriate to my profile (other than that one photo of me at Madama Tusssaud’s, standing next to Bill Clinton’s wax figure, holding my toddler with one hand while touching the front of Mr. Clinton’s waxy pants with the other…yes, I did delete this one !).
At the moment, you would have to do some serious Facebook snooping and stalking in order to find all these long-forgotten naughty posts on a person’s profile… however, from February 12th on, they will be right there, neatly organized and for everyone to see. This is why I am writing this and urging you to take some time to go through your Facebook profile and hide or delete everything that might be damaging to you in any way !
More importantly for those of you who have kids with Facebook profiles – talk to them and explain the situation. According to an independent survey, more than 7.5 milion current Facebook users are kids under the minimum age of 13 and a shocking 5 million of these kids are even under the age of 10 ! As a mother, these numbers really concern me and I advise you to try to carefully guide your kids in the right direction. Teach them to use social media platforms responsibly and go through their profiles together to make sure there is nothing there that they might regret later in life…
Facebook will not forget or forgive and more and more prospective employers find ways and means or flat out demand to see your Facebook profile before they will even consider hiring you. The way you represent yourself on Facebook and every other social media platform out there matters more than people generally assume and it should never be taken lightly ! This is a lot to take in and handle for anyone, let alone a child or teenager so make sure your loved ones are safe !
Let me know if you have any questions or write to let me know how you handled this and what you did in regard to your kids’ profiles… Also, spread the word and pass this on !