My dad once told me never to write anything down that I wouldn’t want read back to me in court. It was rather a startling note of caution to offer a twelve-year-old on AOL Instant Messenger, but the point was well taken. From that point on, typing anything anywhere online felt like a gamble with infamy. Fast-forward to 2011, and my worst fears of 2001 seem very nearly realized.
The slow, wall-by-wall encroachment of Facebook’s “Timeline” feature has for many of us brought the past five or six years to a harrowing present. Now, suddenly and without preface, the Facebook pasts of friends, friends-of-friends, and Facebook-official loved ones lurk in a single sidebar—every wall post, every status update, every damning e-flirtation ever issued, all collected chronologically in one place. Be still, my mouse.
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