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?