This weekend I went back and deleted everything I’ve ever posted onto Facebook, with the exception of a handful of pictures, save the most recent round of birthday well-wishes. I hid every status update Facebook wouldn’t let me delete, un-tagged myself in a bunch of photos (I really wish there were an option for un-tagging that didn’t make it seem like the person who tagged me did something wrong. Why isn’t “I’d rather not be tagged in pictures” a choice?), hid my various page likes from my timeline, deleted all my comments on other posts (so sorry if you go back and it looks like you’re having a conversation with yourself). Basically, according to my Facebook page, I was born 35 years ago, and nothing has happened since.
I did this because I think I’ve been using Facebook as a way to share information with people who might not really be interested in seeing it. I can see the usefulness in posting a major life event for a couple of days (‘we’re getting married!’ ‘I’m starting a new job’ ‘we’re moving!’), but I’m hoping that if friends are interested in seeing my thoughts on a political issue or pop culture, they’ll follow me on twitter, or visit my blog. I feel as though I have more control of those than I do over Facebook.
So why not close my account? Well, because I do want to know what’s going on in the lives of folks who I don’t see regularly. Also, it remains one of the easiest ways to invite folks to an event, and I know other folks use it for that (so not being on Facebook could mean missing out on the occasional event). So I’ll still RSVP and even post the occasional event. But future birthday wishes are coming via email or text, and anything interesting you post on my timeline will get responded to in a message, not on my wall.