Facebook’s New Timeline and the Laptop Problem

Yes, I’m still a Facebook geek, even if I don’t post about it as much as I used to.  I was forced into the new Timeline view about two months ago, and I have given it the good old college try, as we like to say.  I still am not fond of it, but like most Facebook changes, it is not anything I can change.

The real problem with Timeline, for me, is the sheer size of it.  I use a laptop as my primary machine and have a slight visual impairment, and Timeline is just too freakishly big to be useful for me most of the time.  I do have my screen enlarged somewhat, but not overly so (it’s at a 2X), but by doing so, I’ve made Timeline and most of its features unwieldly and unviewable.  If I want to upload pictures, I cannot see the right-hand or left-hand side of the upload and settings window, and there is no scrollbar to let me move the screen to those locations.  For whatever reason, Timeline believes all of us are using browsers on a wide-screen monitor with normal or high resolution.  This means I have to guess what I’m typing in the Album Title box, and in the “say something about this album” box.  It’s a good thing I’m a relatively good touch-typist, but still.  I’ve had to go back more than once and fix a typo that I couldn’t see because the screen isn’t big enough to show it all and there is no way to scroll.

I know this is some bit of simple code, some random thing that made sense to the programmer, but it’s frustrating for me.  It’s got to be frustrating for anyone with a laptop using enlargement.  As our population ages, these kinds of code mistakes (or oversights) could become a real issue.  I manage to muddle through with what I have, but at what point does my visual impairment make this impossible?

Which brings up the bigger issue here.  More and more older people are using Facebook, according to recent polls. I  know in my own family this is true; my teenagers are hardly on it anymore, but anyone my age and older is on it constantly.  Most of the people I talk to on Facebook are 40 and up, and my mom and dad (in their 70’s) both recently joined Facebook and are having a grand time.  Accessibility needs to be a consideration, not just be an after-the-fact fix.