“Facebook’s most powerful force is nostalgia,” a friend said to me over lunch a few months ago. He couldn’t have been more right.
More than any other software in recent memory, Facebook’s Timeline evokes joys, sadnesses, thrills and laughter. Facebook has transformed itself from college dating site to curator of 700M lives in just 7 years.
Facebook’s vision for collecting every event in a user’s life, if accomplished, would amass the largest collection of human history ever recorded. It may very well be that Facebook has already achieved that distinction.
The result is stunning. The Timeline presents our history in a human way. Like waking up on Christmas morning to a lovingly assembled photo album, f8 revealed its silent maternal supervision with a flourish. Facebook, like a helicopter mom, has chronicled our adventures with friends, our triumphs with teammates, and the apigees and perigees of our romances.
The Timeline is a response to the desires of an aging user base. Bacchanalian students who prowled Ivy League dorms seven years ago, today share photos of pregnant wives and soon-to-be mothers with family and friends. There’s a new Baby Boom and it’s all there for you to see on your News Feed.
In a few years, all of my friends will know precisely when my first-born learned to read on her iPad5. It will be time stamped to the millisecond and recorded for posterity in her Timeline. Technology is magical.