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Facebook Timeline Brings The Past Back To The Future

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Facebook's Timeline — the long-anticipated overhaul of the site — is rolling out across the world this week.

Timeline allows friends to surf through all your posts going back to the beginning of Facbeook time. Graphically it can be a beautiful thing. Mark Zuckerberg calls it a chance for users to tell the stories of their lives. And over the next few weeks users across the world will get it on their profile.

But here's the important part — once you get it, you will have just seven days to clean up all your old posts and make it presentable to the world.

The problem with Facebook's Timeline is that the story you chose to tell about your life back in college in 2004 might be considerably different from the story you would like to tell about your life now. But Timeline will make all those old posts and photos documenting things back in the day easily visible to the world.

So unless you take action now and clean up your profile, be prepared to experience the joy of oversharing.

My recommendation — forget that work deadline. Your kids' homework can wait — order pizza for dinner. You have work to do. Facebook, your true corporate master, is calling and it wants you to put in a couple hours right now creating beautiful new content for its site.

Get busy and stop complaining. And if you don't clean up your profile — don't say you were not warned.

What?! You didn't read the terms of service?

OK, to be fair there is still one other option. You can quit Facebook, pull the plug and cancel your account.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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