Facebook's Timeline Is An Annoying Waste Of Time

Julie Bort Timeline Pic

Photo: Julie Bort

I love Facebook. It’s my favourite way to keep tabs on my friends and relatives. I like seeing pictures of their kids, having the occasional 11 p.m. chat and sharing my own photos, videos, funny stories.So when Timeline came out, I thought — why not? I picked a photo of myself and turned it on. That was months ago. Since then I haven’t touched it and I likely never will, unless someone can tell me why its worth even 10 minutes of my time (much less the 30 minutes it takes to really do Timeline right).

A random search of my friends who are not in the tech industry showed that only three of them had messed with Timeline. I asked my friend Suzy about hers and she told me, “I didn’t even realise I was turning it on and now I can’t get rid of it. It’s so irritating. I don’t like the format. It’s too all over the place for me.”

My sister-in-law, Crystal, an office manager, was inspired to do her Timeline after she saw her teenage daughter’s. Crystal is artistic and has been a big scrapbooker over the years. So she showcased some of her favourite photos and loves Timeline.

In an informal poll of my co-workers, I discovered two of them had filled out their Timelines, too, and with a lot more effort than my non-tech friends. Both of them said it didn’t take long — 30 minutes or less. One loves being able to profile milestones in his life and his favourite pictures. The other used the maps to track all the places she’s traveled.

But Timeline also feels a little like being a narcissist, says one.

“If you have Timeline, when you add things like a new job, a HUGE bar comes across your wall as a new life event, and you can add a picture to illustrate that event,” says our Business Insider intern, Natt Garun. “Everything about Timeline screams ME!ME!ME! because you have to go into different sections of your life and make them public.”

After using it for a while, Natt can see how it can be a cool way to keep track of her life … to be able to look back years later and see her photos and thoughts when she moved into her first apartment, changed jobs, got married, bought a house. “Though I don’t know if I personally care to share all of that on Facebook.”

I agree. An electronic scrapbook is great. But that’s not why I use Facebook and so I have no motivation to start.

Word is that Facebook will eventually force Timeline onto all of us as the default profile and Wall. Even then, I’ll need to be convinced why I should spend time updating it.

What about you?


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