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From the author of What Is a Life Event?

What Is a Life Event?

Facebook’s intention with Timeline is to tell the “story of your life” on a single page. Well, as much of your life as Facebook knows about, anyway; Facebook can only display events on your Timeline that you’ve entered into your Facebook personal profile.

To that end, you can supplement your Timeline by adding what Facebook calls life events. What exactly is a life event? Well, Facebook divides them into five major types:

  • Work & Education. These are any events related to your career and prior education. Specifically, Facebook lets you add jobs (where and when you’ve been employed, and for how long), retirement date, schools you’ve attended (when and what degree you attained, if any), study abroad, volunteer work, military service, and more.
  • Family & Relationships. These events document the start of various relationships, such as when you first met someone, entered into a new romantic relationship, got engaged or married, had a new child, met a new family member, acquired a new pet, and so forth. You can also document when a relationship ended or the death of a loved one.
  • Home & Living. These are events related to where you live. You can document when you moved into a new home, bought a house, completed a major home improvement (such as putting on a new roof or installing a new furnace), got a new roommate, or acquired a new vehicle.
  • Health & Wellness. Here is where you document health-related events, such as new eating habits, a significant weight loss, buying new glasses or contacts, breaking a bone, overcoming an illness, quitting a habit (such as smoking), and the like.
  • Travel & Experiences. This is kind of a catch-all category to document just about anything else important in your life, including taking up a new hobby, learning to play a new musical instrument, learning a new language, getting a new tattoo or piercing, and acquiring a new license (such as your first driver’s license). You can also add events for travel and vacations, achievements and awards, changing various beliefs, your first kiss or the first word spoken by a child, a new sport, and such.

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In short, you can put just about anything that’s important to you on your Facebook Timeline. This lets you document major events in your life, and also lets your Facebook friends travel back in time to view what you did in the past.

As such, you may want to use some discretion when adding life events. Some have described Facebook’s new Timeline as a stalker’s paradise, and while that may be a tad overblown, there is concern over just how much personal information you want complete strangers having access to. For example, do you really want current or future employers knowing when you smoked your first joint, or your spouse knowing about each and every intimate relationship you had prior to getting married? Use your own best judgment, but perhaps err on the side of being discrete.

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