Refriending Facebook

As I discussed in yesterday’s post, I suspended my Facebook account about three weeks ago to give myself time and space to focus on getting this blog up and running. Well, up and running we are, so it’s time to re-engage with the world’s most popular social media site. I love the long form of expression that this blog allows and am excited to see readers from all over the world stopping by, but I also enjoy interacting with my real-life friends through chat, posting on their walls, and commenting on their posts. I am on FB solely for that interaction with people I know, not to find new friends or play games or be relentlessly sold to and spied upon by the service itself.

Since that last part cannot be avoided, however, I want to give FB much less information about myself.

I will scrub my profile clean of everything except my employment and education. My religious and political views, favorite books and movies, and all that other stuff is just filler that my friends already know and nobody else really cares about but it also generates a boatload of ads.

I am going to lock down my profile and limit visibility of my photo albums and all past posts to friends only. I used to make about 50% of my posts public, but now I am thinking none of them should be. My pictures and posts are entirely innocuous, but that doesn’t mean I want just anybody browsing through them. Online privacy is an illusion, I know, but I can at least close a few of the gates.

I’ve already turned off all applications (so they cannot access anything in my profile) and that will continue. I don’t want to be checked into any location or automatically tagged in any photograph. I do not tag myself in pictures, only the dogs, and I watch where those pictures turn up elsewhere in FB.

And finally, I will stop complaining about FB on FB. I am choosing to be there and take advantage of the service that it offers, while at the same time doing what I can to ensure that I am taken advantage of as little as possible.

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