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So I’m trying out this new Timeline thing on Facebook, culling through eight years of weird, embarrassing or just plain forgettable social media history. According to the promo video, I have just seven days before it goes live to find a way to present myself to the world as the protagonist in some compelling, coming-of-age collage. But I’m struggling with the assignment. There are reasons I’m a fiction writer and not a memoirist, though I was told again and again in grad school that fiction is dying, its thin voice no longer audible above the noisy reality narrative. It took me until now to realize that Facebook probably never was the right place for those of us who don’t feel comfortable with our lives having an angle, or being boiled down to a few characterizing images. During the next few weeks, in any event, we will have to make a choice: 1) Give up and deactivate, 2) stay and submit to the form’s limitations or 3) do what I will be doing, which is pruning my Timeline into the best damn meta-fictional magical realism ever to be seen in the history of social networking.

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