Privacy is a tricky concept in these times of World Wide Webs, Internet Superhighways and e-Everything. Our brains have quickly evolved to expect that all existing information, from Hollywood to Washington, D.C., should be immediately available to us, unfiltered, with more transparency than a roll of Scotch Tape.
Enter Facebook, originally created as a way for hip, cool college kids to communicate. In the past few years it's blown up, becoming the social networking platform of choice for teenagers, business owners, celebrities and even your grandma.
Now, Facebook wants you to accept its new Timeline interface, which appears to be a game-changer in many ways. Should you be worried?
Technology has brought us much joy, but because it morphs at fiber-optic speeds, change is inevitable. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Timeline will provide users with a more comprehensive way to tell their life story, using photos, videos, facts and friends.
Or to quote Facebook: "The movies you quote. The songs you have on repeat. The activities you love. Now there's a new class of social apps that let you express who you are through all the things you do."
Users will inevitably be putting much more information out there. So far, it's been optional, but over the next few weeks, everyone's Facebook will become a Timeline page.
So how will all this enhanced App-driven information sharing affect your privacy?
There's a great article we found on PCWorld.com that walks through all the changes and how critics – and fans – of Timeline view those changes, and what to expect.
And there is a bottom line: If you plan to continue enjoying social media platforms and the open exchange of information and ideas that the Internet affords, you have to educate yourself on how to protect your privacy to the extent that you want to do that.
We want to know how you feel about Facebook Timeline. Take a moment to vote in our poll, and feel free to leave your comments.