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Why I Like The Facebook Timeline

February 5, 2013 - Author: Dan Vonderheide - Comments are closed
The Facebook timeline will tell the story of you.

The Facebook timeline will tell the story of you.

2012 was really a year of transformation for me. My dad died from a weird lung disease in February, I turned 40 in April, and went through some career focus change during the second half of the year. Really, two of these three things turned out to be all right in my book (it should be pretty obvious which thing sucked) and all provided some new perspective for me.

I came to value human relationships more poignantly. Some of the pressures of life started to become less and less important in the face of what really mattered to me. Likewise, some of the trivial things that I spent a lot of time caring about faded away as well.

If you’ve spent any time at all looking back through your Facebook timeline, you know how fascinating it is to see exactly WHAT you were thinking and WHEN you were thinking it. It’s a very real snapshot of you through your own eyes. A peek into your mind. This especially became pretty important after dad died and I went through his timeline. Of course, he was in his ’70s and was quiet in general so there wasn’t a ton of stuff. But it DID get me thinking about the things the I shared on a daily basis.

Some day my children will go through my timeline and do the same thing. They’re going to know what made me laugh, what I thought about the Bengals, Reds, and Hoosiers, and especially the things I said about them and the pictures I posted to share with my friends.

Morbidity isn’t my goal here, but the finality of death is something that is very, very hard to reconcile when you’ve experienced the loss. There are questions that can only now be answered by third-party observers or with another perspective other than my dad’s.

Here’s the point: REALLY think about the things that you put on your timeline. Are game scores, political rants, and complaints about other people really the legacy you want to leave behind? And yes….that stuff will stay behind in some form somewhere on some server. Don’t kid yourself. Data is forever.

Let the timeline paint the picture of your life as you’d want your great-grandchildren to see you. Past generations didn’t have it this easy. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to tell our own stories in our own words.

Categories: Media Criticism, Self, Social Media, The Internet

Discussion (5 Comments)

  1. by Melody

    Very nice, Dan. Facebook has definitely become a vehicle to tell the chronological story of one’s life, archived for future generations.

    P.S. I’m going to look and see if you posted the score from Saturday night. 🙂

    • by Dan Vonderheide

      Thanks, Melody. And naturally, I’m gonna brag on the Hoosiers…I was referring to the Farmville and Words With Friends type of game. 🙂

  2. by Merry Fourhman

    Well said, Daniel. It pleases me to read how you have become the person you now are. I believe Mel would be very proud.

    • by Dan Vonderheide

      You’re very kind, Mrs. F.!

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