Not a friend of Facebook?

Last night, I woke up in the wee hours, sure that my Facebook profile was haunting me.  I only have one, and my friend list is subdivided – like the ‘burbs – into “true” friends, interest-specific friends, acquaintances, and friends from years past.

Naturally, my writing “friends” are part and parcel of this.  However, I like this set-up less and less.  Wouldn’t it be more professional to have a FB profile just for my writer self?  (And possibly less confusing…)

Facebook is great at connecting you with long-lost friends and good friends who just happen to live in another state.  It’s also great at raising questions of identity and privacy.  Do I really want all of my yoga acquaintances to know details of my high school past?  Do friends from my past – with whom I do wish to stay in touch – really want to know the minutiae of my current life?  More importantly, do I want potential publishers checking me out?

Yes, I know how to lock down my profile and create lists to manage what details each “friend” sees and receives about me.  Not to mention the public!

I find more and more that I’m sliding down the slippery slope to over-sharing.  Case in point:  I recently went to see “Ramona and Beezus.”  Wonderful movie!  But did I really need to post that immediately after seeing it?  Especially since I was with a close friend I hadn’t seen in some time!  Twitter isn’t for me – so why am I treating Facebook as a sort of sub-Twit-stute?

I popped online – hey, I wasn’t sleeping anyway – and noticed something.  Several friends are missing.

People whom I like and respect – and whom I’m pretty darn sure like and respect me – aren’t my “friends” on Facebook.  For some, I know they just don’t have profiles.  Some decided they didn’t have time to waste on FB or don’t care for it as a means of communication.  But some I’m pretty sure just aren’t comfortable with me as a Facebook friend – say, my best friend from high school with whom things got very complicated during college?

I don’t blame them.  In fact, I agree with all those perspectives.  But what to do?

Do I create separate profiles – much like using separate email addresses for work and home?  Do I ruthlessly cull my friend list so that only those friends I would call are on it – sort of a substitute for my cellphone address book?

Or do I take the “radical” step?  Just deactivate my profile with a goodbye message explaining that, old-fashioned as it may seem, I’d prefer to communicate via phone or letters – email or snail mail?


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