Facebook Is For The Moment Not For Ever

Ah Facebook, can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Too many people are on Facebook that I’d like to be able stay in touch with. Jennifer Golbeck has a point, however.

Social media in general should be about the moment. [ref]where a moment is about a month, maybe a year if you stretch it[/ref]  It’s a stream of consciousness, not a diary or a novel, or even a Captain’s Log. Think about it – most social media is a ‘hey guys look at this’ There’s no need for it to become ‘evidence that may be used against you in future’ or ‘material that supports Facebook’s business model when we can work out how to monetise it’

The solution is relatively simple. Go to the Timeline and erase everything that’s older than three months. It’s not so easy to do, but it is fascinating to read the absolute banality of your Facebook status updates from years ago. There’s no reason for much of it to persist. Never mind Facebook, even I’d use it against me – every day you live is a day you won’t see again. What exactly made posting that fat cat picture such a great use of my time 🙂

As a side effect icing all that banality makes your FB timeline much tighter and cleaner. The banality is fun at the time, but the time has passed ‘ere six months are gone. I’m not so naive as to believe Facebook deletes the associated meta-data, so there’s a case to be made for reducing the dross proactively. It’s what a blog is for – so you can own your data. There’s a difference between disseminating information and giving up the rights to it – while you can’t unsay anything on the Internet, you don’t have to give it away for resale.

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