Rebooting Facebook

I am on my third Facebook account. I deleted my last one late in 2013.

In the real world, people come into our lives and they leave again. Very few friendships last for the rest of your life. One of the things I loathe about Facebook is the way old, no-longer-useful relationships become fossilised in it. There’s no way for friendships to drop off the end.  Rather than going through and culling them, I allowed my friends to decide if they wanted to stay in touch using Facebook. I imagine that just as much as I found the fossilised connections awkward, they probably did too.  I posted that I was going to be deleting my account and I posted a link to my new one. I asked that if people still wanted to connect with me using Facebook they should friend the new account. I was surprised by the people who did. It wasn’t the usual suspects. I actively friended the family members I wanted to friend and since using the new account I have sent friend requests to people I want to connect with.

Like a lot of Irish people my age, I use my name in Irish on Facebook. If you’re Irish, the Irish and English versions sound the same. However, searching Facebook with my English name won’t bring up my name in Irish.  I use Facebook mostly for chat and also to share and find articles. I use groups and manage a couple of pages. I don’t receive any game requests. My posts on my wall are primarily public but I don’t allow anyone other than me to post on my wall.  I have the followers function switched on. There’s no need for you to send me a friend request if you simply want to connect with the content I share. Curiously, by making my posts public I’m now more comfortable with the content I share. I don’t have the fear that somehow something I post will become public. I am more conscious of the material I choose to share.

I deleted my first Facebook profile a few years ago. I wanted a clean slate. My partner and I went on holidays to Hungary. I knew that I would need to leave the account deactivated for a month before it would be deleted and I could create a new one with the same email address. I enjoyed the month off too. As well as being a worthwhile Facebook-fast, it made me aware of the really useful aspects of Facebook.   I probably will delete my Facebook profile again in a year or two. I like keeping my connections fresh.  In the last few years I have had a few friends end our friendships, and I have let a few friendships go. My ambition is to dive into and really explore the friendships that are alive.

Some people use Facebook as a record of their lives. I don’t. I have diaries for that.  If you want to keep your Facebook profile for the memories, this option isn’t for you.

If you do want to reboot your presence on Facebook, here’s what I suggest.

  • Using a different email address create a new account
  • Friend your new account with your old one
  • If you manage any pages or groups, make your new profile an administrator
  • Decide on an end date for the old account.
  • Post a link to your old account on your profile and ask your friends to send their requests there.
  • Follow the links on Facebook to deactivate your old account.

Remember, Facebook is a very powerful tool. Use it but use it wisely.  A friendship connection does not make your friendship “facebook official”. Unfriending someone is not the end of your friendship.

Be creative in your use. Feel free to delete and restart.

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