There comes a time in all of our lives when we simply have to accept and move on. Marathon chocolate bars become Snickers, Vanilla Coke suddenly disappears from the shelves in your home country (seriously Ireland, not cool…) and Hotmail changes its name to Outlook years after anyone gave a crap about it. Change is tough but it must be confronted and in most cases, eventually accepted.
In Ireland, every child loves getting sick because getting sick means that your parents feed you nightly doses of Calpol medicine, specifically the purple variety. According to the never-wrong Wikipedia, "Calpol is a common cause of accidental child poisoning, due to its pleasant taste". I can assure you, everybody who has ever been accidentally poisoned was having the time of his or her lives with a purple bottle.
Unfortunately, however, your time with the beloved purple bottle is short, with instructions that it only be used for babies and children aged two months to six years. Once you hit the big six it's all downhill from there, as Calpol 'SixPlus' kicks in, with its dreaded orange bottle. Thankfully my parents loved me so I was on the purple stuff for years after, accidental poisoning be damned.
I promise you, ask any grown man or woman from the UK or Ireland today if they can remember the orange Calpol and you will be confronted with a look that stretches right into the darkest abyss of their soul and shatters your preconceptions of the human condition. Basically, it tastes like someone rinsed a sweaty towel after peeing on it.
Forced upon us after years of unaware bliss, Facebook Timeline is the orange Calpol of social networking. We can’t go back and once Facebook started spreading the word in December 2011 that Timeline was ready to park its advertising-friendly, eye-straining, glossy veneer upon us, we had just seven days to get ready. Seven days to hide our most damning posts (mocking our boss, kissing the face off our exes) from anyone who wanted to view “your life story”. I don’t know about you but my “life story” on Facebook mostly involves postings pictures of toasted bread that looks like celebrities, not marking real life milestones from 10 or so years ago.
For Facebook, Timeline is a concept that is too big at this point to fail, or perhaps it would be too embarrassing for its reputation were it to fail. Either way, it's here to stay and whether we like it or not, Facebook is going to ensure that we take our medicine, even if it leaves a worse taste in our mouths than the first drop of orange Calpol, in which we quickly realized that our innocence was lost, our childhood had peaked and that 25 years later the local pharmacist would refuse your please for a bottle of the purple stuff, regardless of how much you explain it's for the “really sick kid outside”.