What is the Facebook Timeline? - dummies

By Carolyn Abram

Your Facebook Timeline is what your friends look at to get a sense of your life, and it’s also where they leave public messages for you. In this way, your friends’ posts become part of your history (just like in real life).

Think about all the things you learn about a friend the first time you meet his parents, or all the funny stories you hear when your friend’s significant other recounts the story of how they met. These are the types of insights that your friends may casually leave on your Timeline, making all your friends know you a little better.

When friends visit your Timeline, they’ll also see a version of the Share box that you see. They can’t add life events, but they can post text and photos to your Timeline. Check out the posts on your friends’ Timelines. Chances are that you’ll see a few “Hey, how are you, let’s catch up” messages and maybe a few “That was an awesome trip/dinner/drink” messages.

If you’re on a friend’s Timeline around his birthday, you’re sure to see many “Happy Birthday” posts. There aren’t many rules for using Facebook, but one tradition that has arisen over time is the “Happy Birthday” post. Because most people see notifications of their friends’ birthdays on their Home pages, the quickest way to say “I’m thinking of you” on their special day is to write on their Timeline.

Although the back and forth between friends is one of the delights of the Timeline, some people find it a little hard to let go. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the idea of a friend being able to write something personal on your Timeline, you can prevent friends from being able to post on it within your Settings page.

You can also limit who can see the posts your friends leave. From the Settings page, go to the Timeline and Tagging section and look for the settings related to who can post on your Timeline and who can see what others post on your Timeline.

The best way to get used to the Timeline is to start using it. Write on your friends’ Timelines, post a status update or a link on your own, and see what sort of response you get from your friends. After all, that’s what the Timeline is all about — sharing with your friends.