After students catch their graduation hats and diplomas, pose for the pictures and then have dinner with the family, new graduates will go home and get on their Facebook to change their “about” section to reflect their graduation.
But wait: It looks like Facebook has already made the announcement for you, and there are a string of comments from California to New York congratulating you.
It should come as no surprise that Facebook’s Timeline has some new features that are helping to mark life events like graduation — and many appear to be liking the change.
“As far as telling people on Facebook, I’ve posted a few photos that I’ve taken in my cap and gown and I’m probably going to post a bit more because it’s such a big milestone in life,” said Ed Stephenson, who will be graduating in marketing from San Diego State University in California.
In the last few years, there have been quite a few jokes tossed around about how just as users are getting used to a layout, Facebook decides to change it.
However, the last change to the Timeline format has created some unique opportunities for users to share and save photos and comments from big events like graduation. Almost overnight, your timeline profile has magically evolved into a book of your most important life events.
“Timeline is definitely very different then anything that I have used before,” said Ryan Sherwood who graduated from the University of California at Merced last year and is now attending Ross University School of Medicine. “The structure has allowed me to quickly identify different events amongst the events in my life. It is very much like a scrapbook.”
This new scrapbook of sorts allows for friends to comment on your life events and for users to keep track of their life vents throughout the years. No Facebook user saw this coming. However, the shift towards more control of content is evident when you begin to dig in.
“The main appeal to it for me is the ability to highlight things that you want noticed and hide some of the things that aren’t as important,” said Stephenson. “So, I think that with the current popularity of sites that utilize pictures such as instagram and pinterest, Facebook will look to do something similar and make it a more visual experience rather than the news feed of status updates that we’ve been used to.”
The idea that Facebook might be evolving into something more visually appealing — like a scrapbook or yearbook — is providing students that have graduated in 2012 a unique opportunity to catalog the huge milestone of college graduation.
The ease with which a user can illustrate their past can turn life events or jokes into an memorable, fun experience for their friends to share.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am happy with the new Timeline, but at the same time I’m not one of the people that is vehemently opposed to it either,” said Stephenson. “I like the fact that I can look back and see the things that I was posting when I was a freshman in college, as embarrassing as some of them are.”
Scared that maybe your “facescrapbook” of memories will be disappearing soon? Some students hope not.
“I believe that the Timeline format should and will continue. I am very happy about this,” said Sherwood.
No matter how Timeline evolves, students plan on continuing to use Facebook as the main way to chart and share important events in their life.
“I’m sure that in the future as I have more special events happen that I’ll look to use the timeline to share some of them,” said Stephenson. “[Be]cause with the speed at which we post random stuff on our social media feeds, sometimes we forget about some of the times that were important to us.”
How are your friends and classmates using Facebook to document their graduation?
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