The do’s and don’ts of Timeline

Cassie Comeau

You either love Facebook Timeline or you hate it. But whether you switch to it willingly or are waiting for it to be forced upon you (like myself), here are some do’s and don’ts for when the time comes.

Do not, I repeat, do not upload a close-up shot of yourself as your cover photo. Don’t even think about doing it. This is probably the biggest pet peeve I have with Timeline. When I visit your profile, I don’t want to see a blown-up photo of your face staring at me. I can get that from looking at your profile picture.

Do not make your cover photo a picture of you and your significant other kissing. Don’t even make it your profile picture. If I wanted to see that, I’d hang out with the two of you more often. Keep the intimate displays of affection to yourselves, not the entire Facebook community.

Do get creative. There is nothing I love more than seeing a cover photo with some thought behind it. Cover photos should say something about you, your personality, your likes/dislikes, etc. Make sure you’re saying something in your photo. My favorite cover photos are the ones that connect with the default picture. Dress up as Waldo and get lost in a sea of people. Make an action in your default and let the scene continue in your cover photo. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, do a Google image search for creative Facebook cover photos; there are tons of examples).

Do not use the new Timeline to stalk people’s posts from high school. You wouldn’t do it in real life, and you shouldn’t do it on Facebook. I don’t know what possessed Mark Zuckerberg to give users this option, but just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to use it. Go to someone’s Facebook page to read recent posts, not to 2006 when the person signed up for the site. It’s not endearing when you meet someone for the first time and already know his or her life story — it’s just creepy.

Do use Timeline to look back and remind yourself of happy times. Go to your own page and look at how much you’ve changed over the past few months (or years, if you have the time). If I’m feeling bored or reminiscent, I go back and look at old posts and pictures and it brings back fond memories. There’s also a nifty new feature that allows users to “highlight” content on their pages. This stretches posts, pictures and videos across both columns, making them easier to find and easier for you to reminisce.

Next time you go on Facebook, remember: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Update responsibly.