How Facebook Exposed My Life



Changes, they are coming!

Unless you’ve been hibernating in a cave without any internet connection, you’re probably aware that Facebook announced some major changes at the recent f8 Conference.   If you want a quick summary of the new features, here’s a link to a Mashable post, it even has a link to the f8 conference video if you’re really keen!

One of the changes that I suspect will generate a lot of discussion is the new Timeline.  If you’re a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know that I’m an aspiring geek,  I love technology and I’m an early adopter – OK I’m attracted to Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs).  This means, I couldn’t resist having an early look at what these changes are about.  If you can’t wait until the 1st October when the changes start rolling out, then you can have an early peek by following these instructions by Techie Buzz.

I’m not going to go into the details of what’s on the Timeline because you can read about that in plenty of other places.  Mari Smith, the Facebook fountain of knowledge, is holding a free webinar explaining all of the changes on Friday 30th (very early Saturday morning in Australia).  You can register here – a recording will be provided.

My life exposed

Facebook Timeline

My first impression was WOW!  Facebook knows a lot of stuff about me and it’s all right there in the open for all to see.  I felt a bit exposed.    The thing is that all of this information was already available to anyone who cared to go searching for it.  The difference is Open Graph Protocol, which I won’t even pretend to understand, now exposes all of this information, rather than it being hidden away.

Once I got over the initial shock of seeing my life exposed, I had a play around with it and I’ve decided that I like it, a lot.  It provides a kind of visual history of my social activities online and offline and it’s a fun way to remember.

It’s not only what I expose, but what others expose about me

I’ve already seen a lot of comments and have received a few requests from Facebook friends to change settings so that their information is not shared. Of course I’ve done as they requested because I think the decision about what we share online (and offline) is a personal one.

I’ve also seen some very strong posts about the changes and particularly about the privacy issues.  Some people feel that these latest changes are a step too far, particularly because some applications (e.g.  Spotify) will no longer allow you to sign up unless you do so with your Facebook login.  Why would they do that?

Open Graph, allows sites and apps to publish your activity to Facebook, similar to the way the “like” button does but it also allows sites and apps to publish your activity in the new Ticker which means that all of your friends will be able to see what you’ve been up to – whether you want to share that or not!

I’m fairly relaxed about all of that, perhaps too relaxed.  I don’t have anything to hide.  I can’t imagine anyone being interested enough in what I’m doing that they’d bother to sit and watch the Ticker for information about my comings and goings.

I don’t know whether the changes are something to be truly concerned about or whether it’s just another change that will fill the Ticker and give people something to be upset about.  As with all things, time will tell.  My bet is that, as with all of the other changes Facebook have made over the years, the majority of the 800+ million Facebook users will continue to share and will now share even more – whether we intend it or not.

What does it mean for business pages?

My understanding is that the changes will only affect personal profiles for the time being but according to Mashable, Facebook have indicated that they will make Pages consistent with Timeline in the near future.

The more immediate issue facing owners of Facebook Pages is the requirement for apps to migrate to OAuth 2.0 by 1 October – wonder if there’s a reason they chose that date?  I said I’m an aspiring geek which means I don’t really understand all of the details behind this but what I do know is that as of 1 October, if you have used a developer to create say a Welcome Tab or use any other apps to create tabs on your Page, then they need to have an SSL Certificate or the App will be disabled!  If you’re uncertain, check with the developer or visit the app page and ask whether their app will be compliant.  If not, find one that is!

What do you think?

Has Facebook gone too far?

Will you be more vigilant about what you sign-up for?

Is Facebook selling out by mining data and giving businesses and advertisers access to our information?

Have you read any great posts about the changes?

Are you already using Timeline?  What do you think?

7 Responses to How Facebook Exposed My Life

  1. Linda ~ Journey Jottings September 29, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    With all of our computers operating on the binary code the date the 1st of Oct 2011 can’t get much more geeky! 11011 (1.10.11)

    How far does the timeline go back Suellen – to when FB kicked off or by some witchery to your DOB?

    Thanks for the early insight about what’s coming our way 🙂

    • Suellen Hughes September 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

      Hi Linda,

      I didn’t even think about 11011 – love it!

      The timeline goes back to birth – assuming you have provided your birthdate. It isn’t very populated beyond the past few months but you can add extra content to it.

      I think it will be a great way for you to showcase your maps – it’s kind of like what you do with journey jottiings now. You will be able to upload all of your maps and see them all on your timeline!

      Thanks for dropping by – let me know what you think of your Timeline once you’re live.

  2. Paul Avery October 2, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    And this is partly why I am giving less and less info via facebook.

    If you don’t want it exposed don’t post it to facebook.

    • Suellen Hughes October 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I agree with you that if people don’t want their lives exposed then they shouldn’t post it in the first place. I don’t have any problem with anything Facebook “exposed” on my Timeline. It will be interesting to see what information is shared on the Ticker. For those of us who take the time to read about the changes and educate ourselves on privacy protection, I don’t think there will be an issue. However, the less technically savvy or aware may be caught out and that’s a worry for them.


  3. Charley October 13, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    I really need to get my head around this. When it first came out the change that lets you “categorise” your friends seemed a little rude. We all probably do group the people we know into family, close, aquaintance etc but expressing it online is taking it a bit too far? Our ability to be discreet about these things is an important skill so it worries me that kids on FB will start to see that kind of behavioiur as the norm?

  4. Ana November 12, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    To be quite honest, Suellen, I think we are taking privacy issues a bit too far.

    If you don’t want to see our info exposed, we shouldn’t be joining sites like Facebook. LOL

    • Suellen Hughes November 13, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Ana,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I agree with you. As you will know from reading my post, I was not at all bothered about what was “exposed” on Facebook. It was more a shock to see how much info I had shared over the years!

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