Facebook — To delete or not to delete

Erica's Facebook

I think a lot about deleting my Facebook. I don’t use it for networking; that’s why I have LinkedIn. I don’t use it to contact my close circle of friends. We have face-to-face visits, phones, e-mail, and other methods of communication.

Part of met thinks that I haven’t hammered out how I’m going to use it just yet. Is it networking, keeping track of life lived a long time ago, or connecting with friends? I think this when I get connection requests from co-workers that I don’t like all that much. (Obviously, this does not apply to all, and probably doesn’t apply to you when you think it does.) Or when yesterday, I received and accepted a request from a woman I went to 2nd grade with. And since I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, I don’t really mind those requests. I don’t put overly personal things on it, and since I’m not into partying and one beer at dinner is my limit, I’m not going get caught in some saucy photography.

Mostly I think about getting rid of it due to the voyeur factor. Facebook gives you just enough information to stalk someone, but not enough information to really know them. I suppose that you’re suppose to message people or write on their walls or compare your movie capability. But those still seem like only surface connections.

Sometimes my reactions to Facebook remind me of when my mom was going to attend her 20th high school reunion. Her friend Carol was over and my mom pulled out her old high school yearbook. Carol and myself stood around as my mom started going through her memories and looking at the pictures of the people she used to know. Her high school years, like my own, were not her shining glories. She was an average student and not popular or overly involved.

After we giggled at my mom and my uncle’s ’70s hair, my mom started recounting the people she hung out with. But then it got to the people she hated. The ones that stole her boyfriends or snubbed her friendship. The ones she hoped she looked younger than. The ones she guessed had gotten fat and ugly with age. Or the ones she thought deserved to have landed themselves in jail by now, based on her judgments of them for what they did 20 years ago. She was so bitter. So full of ill wishes and mockery.

Facebook sometimes turns into that for me. I see people I used to know and some of them aren’t people that I like very much. Some of them hurt me and some of them were assholes. Facebook becomes my yearbook, only updated every moment of every day. Unlike my mother, who can leave her yearbook the shelves, I can access Facebook any time of the day, from anywhere. That is why I think about deleting my Facebook account and putting the past on the shelf.

About Erica

Erica McGillivray spends too much contemplating the socioeconomic importance of the bananaphone. Ring, ring, ring. Bananaphone. She loves bunnies, soap opera plots in comic books, and dreams of flying in the stars. Erica works for Moz in inbound marketing, which means sometimes, she'll talk about that.
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3 Responses to Facebook — To delete or not to delete

  1. Jennifer says:

    I hear all of your points about facebook. For the most part I keep my settings pretty private and don’t add anyone as a friend I don’t want on there…. it’s nice that they don’t send out something saying that this person denied you as a friend… i guess people might know but it’s not as awkward as it could be. I also just realized that you can really make your stuff private – to the extent of blocking certain people from seeing things like your status updates. I like it a lot but definitely avoid all the high school BS that can come along with it.

    • Erica says:

      @Jennifer — I’ve kept my setting pretty private, but since I was not sure what I was doing with it, I accepted friend connections from anyone I did know. I did go ahead and deactivate my account. I can always reactivate it if I want to. However, for now I think it’s better.

      @Mal — Yeah, it’s kind of full of things for people to stalk you with. Not that this isn’t. I think my LinkedIn is even worse…

  2. Mal says:

    I think about deleting my facebook as well. I never use it and I hate how much of my info is out there. I really don’t like people knowing where I go to school or other things unless I tell them.

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