I remember the layout very vividly, a creepy kid looking at you in the upper left hand corner with Top Gun movie quotes at the bottom of the screen, equipped with a self indulgent homage to its creator, A Mark Zuckenberg Production. I remember loading up that first picture and typing ridiculous bio information because it was only college kids who would see it anyway, and they would appreciate that I over quoted “Old School” and any Will Ferrell movie being played in college dorms. I remember posting my away status in the “third person” because that was how it worked, “Kyle is listening to Ludacris and drinking a 40.” So Classy.
Then came the pictures.
If you tagged me holding a bottle of Jager and a collared shirt open one button too deep in 2005, I wouldn’t care. (Obviously, it would be a detag and/or phone call now) But at that time, screw it, let’s make that bad boy my profile picture now. Don’t judge.
And that’s not all. If you go back to the beginning of my timeline, you will see overly detailed and somewhat vulgar notes to my college girlfriend because well, there was no newsfeed to broadcast my activity. You will see profanity and references to drinking, embarrassing photos and referencing to puking. You will see a horrible decision to wear corduroys and an unbeknown at the time, “holding a peace sign out” in all my pictures phase.
Oh, how the times have changed.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine a Facebook where college kids are free to post information without the scrutiny of bosses, moms, your friends, ten cousins, your friends’ mom, or your girlfriend’s dad. It’s even hard to imagine that kids will use Facebook like my generation in college. Most of them will find other outlets that haven’t been mainstream long enough for people over forty to be on.
However, for my generation, it’s a crazy thought: Our entire lives will be documented on Facebook. If you didn’t delete the memories or defriend all the ex’s and the friends turned acquaintances, there’s a good chance you will be able to go back in time and see a fairly accurate timeline of your life. You will get to see the wall posts and messages from those drunken moments in college, and see how that emotional roller coaster relationship unfolded. You will get to see those “hard to remember” nights as a scrawny nineteen year old making bad choices and posting them online. Then, you will get to see how you evolved. How you put on a shirt and tie and started going to charity events and wine bars. You will get to see the moment you found that girl or guy who made you mobile upload your life at cute and cuddly places and vacations. You will see the wedding photos, the puppy, the baby, the vacations. You will see it all.
Because our lives, for better or worse, will be documented online, waiting for us to revisit and rediscover. There will be all the relationships, all the drama, all the pictures, stored and documented in the nooks and crannies of our timelines. There will no longer need to be Polaroids or photo albums to go back in time, only a web address called Facebook and a good wifi connection. That is where we are headed. A life told from the cloud.
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