If you are a Facebook friend of mine and are wondering why suddenly you got a invite to be my friend again and can’t find all my old content here’s why.
I have been pondering my use of Facebook for over a year. It started last year when I took the entire month of July off from using social media. I read in an article somewhere and thought it was a good idea. It turns out I did not miss it as much as I thought I would. Once that month was over I started using it again but on a more limited basis. Over the past year I keep reading about the things Facebook can do with my content or is doing with my content. I wasn’t pleased. The new search functionality just spooked me. It’s not like I posted anything questionable but I just don’t like some of the business practices they’re doing with the information I put in the system. When I first started using Facebook it was treated as a personal area to post things to my friends only. Over time they keep doing things in semi-sneaky ways to make your data more public. It just makes me uneasy. I tried to remove old content but after much searching online it became apparent that there is no easy way to bulk delete anything. Most forum posts suggest just deleting your entire account and starting over. I didn’t want to do that but in the end I felt there was no other feasible choice if I wanted old content removed.
Everything finally came to a head today when I deleted my old account. First I exported all the data from my old account and verified that I wasn’t using Facebook authentication on any sites that were critical to me. Then I just remove the account. Apparently it takes 14 days for account to actually be deleted and then another month or so for all the data to be removed from their systems. After deleting the original account I went on and created a new one. I spent time inviting friends from the old account to the new one. I will be honest in saying that I did not invite 100% of the frames on the old one to the new account. I took this change as an opportunity to remove people I really don’t talk to anymore. I seriously thought about not signing up for an account again but in the end I did for two reasons. First, a lot of family loves getting photos of Teagan via Facebook. The second reason is more practical. I like having Facebook because it does enable me to stay in contact with people I don’t always get to see but I had issues about security and what they do with my data so I will continue to use it or treat anything I put there like I do with twitter. When I first started posting I didn’t do that and that was what bothered me.
Longer term MC and I are talking about how and if we continue posting photos to Facebook. We have read some articles about what people (or Facebook themselves for that matter) can do with the photos and Face recognition and EXIF data. I would like to find a way to use my Flickr account to link to my Facebook wall with no data remaining on Facebook systems.
The bottom line is if you’re a friend of mine please don’t be offended if I don’t “like” post of yours or do lots of commenting on things you post to your wall or mine. I am just not doing that at all or very often going forward.