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Your Facebook past is coming back: Timeline mandatory

Facebook, the world's most popular social network, is ready to go ahead with an IPO as early as Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

So that's it, Facebook friends. Everything you've ever posted to the site is in one place for all of your so-called friends to see in one long, scrolling page called a timeline.

What was optional is now mandatory for its 800-million users, and if you want to wipe anything off your Facebook wall you have until Jan. 31.

Go ahead and do it now, I'll be here when you get back (and don't forget those Halloween pictures from 2009. You know who you are).

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I switched over to a Timeline in late December and everything I've ever posted was suddenly streaming before my eyes, the browser window was bottomless. Every status, every friend added, every comment, every photo, every video of my entire social media past: right there for all of my 'friends' to see.

There was some funny stuff: Toronto real estate hotshot Brian Persaud half-naked in a paddle boat, for some reason. Pictures of 22-year-old me playing a rock show in a sundress.

And my kids, so many pictures of my kids. How lucky for everyone!

And that's when it started to feel weird. I remember posting all of them, but they were neatly tucked away in albums that you had to make a bit of an effort to see.

Which was fine for the out-of-town relatives who wanted to look at pictures of my kids. But the idea of the hundreds of "friends" I'd managed to pick up since opening the account suddenly seeing a never-endind scroll of smiling kids (even if they are the world's cutest) just didn't feel right.

I did what a lot of people are going to start doing - culling. Some people may be reminded of embarrassing status updates, hurtful breakups, job changes - it'll all be there.

But Facebook makes it hard to clean out years of your social history: deleting my photo albums and tags was taking forever, and I wasn't sure anything was gone for good.

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So, I wrote a blog post explaining why I was killing my original account (to make sure nobody could suggest I deleted them out of some kind of weird Facebook spite), and started a fresh account.

So feel free to be my friend. But you probably won't find me very interesting. Sorry.

Will you clean out your Facebook history? Are you worried about your social media history coming back to haunt you in seven days?

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