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How Facebook Timeline Nearly Ruined My Birthday
By: Christine Geraci
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Yesterday was my birthday. And I, like many other Facebook users, look forward to all the well-wishing wall messages I get from dear friends and family members. I'd say one of the best things about Facebook is the way it not only reminds you of other people's birthdays, but the way it enables others to make you feel special on your own birthday.
Except, at first, I wasn't getting any special birthday wall posts.
Then one of my friends messaged me and said, "Happy Birthday! I can't post to your wall lol." And then I remembered: Timeline.
Ah, Timeline. A while back, I planted tongue firmly in cheek and warned people to "unfriend their family on Facebook" because of the new Timeline format. I meant that with Timeline's new features and privacy options, you'd have to be very diligent about making sure your mom couldn't post embarrassing, Timeline space-filling baby and childhood photos of you for all to see. 
For this and other reasons, I decided to make it so no no one but me could post to my Timeline. Somehow, it never occurred to me that by doing so, I couldn't get the birthday messages I looked forward to. It was a quick and easy fix. But I guess that's what it took to make me realize my previous observations might have been a little too sarcastic.
Before Timeline, people could still post embarrassing photos from your childhood on your wall. But with Timeline, the same action can cut a little deeper. 
When you see your life in pictures, videos, and status updates, all chronologically arranged from the day of your birth to the present, the reaction is much more visceral, and insecurities can surface. As if Facebook wasn't arguably the most personal social network out there already. 
Yet the fact remains — Timeline or not, you can still just delete the photo. 
You can also opt to receive notifications before people tag you in photos. 
So, lesson learned: I shouldn't have let emotional reactions cloud my judgment. I'd rather let them crowd my Timeline. On my birthday.

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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