This article was published on November 11, 2011

Facebook wants you to add overly-creepy ‘Life Events’ to your upcoming Timeline

Facebook wants you to add overly-creepy ‘Life Events’ to your upcoming Timeline

With Facebook’s Timeline coming “Soon”, according to project managers at Facebook, there will be many new things for you to take notice of once it becomes live.

We know that there are all new things to “worry” about when it comes to who sees what on your Facebook profile, but the company will be asking you to worry about what you’re sharing even more by asking you to add “Life Events” to the service.

What are those suggested life events you ask?

They’re broken up into five sections: Work and Education, Family and Relationships, Living, Health and Wellness, and Milestones and Experiences. At first glance, this seems pretty reasonable considering that Facebook is made up of your friends and family for the most part.

After a deeper dive, some of the optional life events seem like over sharing, and shows off Facebook’s insatiable taste for more and more of your data.

Got a piercing or Tattoo?

Facebook seems to be primed to be the digital scrapbook of your entire life with its Timeline product. The layout is quite gorgeous, and even though it can be a bit confusing on why it displays the data that it does and where, it’s definitely a visual upgrade from your current profile.

However, in the status box, you’ll notice the “Life Event” tab.

Adding life events are completely optional of course, but it will be very interesting to see how many people actually dig down deep in their past and share everything that has ever happened to them.

For example, one health and wellness life event asks you to enter any past illnesses.

Even though I very publicly fought cancer myself, I was a bit hesitant to enter this information in. I’m not worried about who sees it as much as I’m interested in how the company will use it. Could they use the data to advertise to me directly? Absolutely. But what else is possible with all of that information about one person. Only Facebook truly knows.

Here are some of the more interesting suggested life events for you to enter into the site’s database:

Some of them seem rather benign and silly like “Got a Piercing or Tattoo”, but then you’ll notice ones like “Changed Beliefs” and “Lost a loved one” which seem creepy to even ask for. I personally would not enter that information into anyones database, let alone a social network’s.

Yes, there are privacy controls on each other, and you could enter these things for only your eyes to see, but it’s kind of disturbing to think that people might be adding these very personal events into a public platform.

There are “Other” options along the bottom of each section, which lets you add your own life event in any category. At what point is this to be considered over sharing, though? Do we really want Facebook to be the one place that has all of our information, past and present? Adding all of this past activity could take hours upon hours, and I’m wondering how many will actually dedicate the time to this.

Will you add the dates of ended relationships, piercing additions, instruments you learned to play, and more once Timeline is released to everyone? Tell us in the comments.

Back to top