Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Value in Going Back to the Beginning of Your Facebook Profile

They say every seven years you're a completely different person, and I firmly believe in that concept.  I've changed so much in the past year alone that there's no way I could be the person I was seven years ago.  In certain ways I don't remember (and in some cases don't care to remember) thirteen-going-on-fourteen year old Taylor.

But Facebook remembers.  Facebook remembers because I've recorded my life on it.  It's one thing to have memories, it's another to have virtual evidence.

Be warned, the first time you go back to the beginning, you will feel like this:

There are two things I believe are the most important to look at: the "About Me" section and pictures, particularly profile pictures.  These are most important because regardless of what your privacy setting are, these are the sections that everyone can see at least part of.

I recently did this because I realized the description I had of myself really didn't say anything about me, but was rather a list of things that I liked, but silly things, for example, octopuses and the colour yellow.  Sometimes we put silly things in other sections of About Me, like that our languages include English, Sarcasm, and Pirate.  

We all have at least one badly picnik'd photo, something with a contrived pose and some sort of text that is likely something you saw someone else put on their cringe-worthy photo.  Exhibit A:

No one wants to see those, least of all you, because you probably embarrassed yourself looking at them realizing how awful all of these pictures are.  I know I did.  Which is why I took the worst of it off of Facebook.  I also browse through photos that I'm tagged in and remove the tags from any photos that I'd rather not see, such as photos where I look high as a kite because the photographer used flash, or that one where I'm mid sentence with crayon marks on my face.  Sure, they're still ON Facebook, but at least they're not in "Pictures of Me" and not easily found via my profile.

Sometimes it's a confidence boost.  If you come across a very flattering picture of yourself, it makes you feel good about yourself to read the positive comments that people posted.  Not to mention if that jerk--who you only added because he was in your class and it seemed polite--said something nasty, one click and BOOP! the nasty comment is gone.  Relive your achievements by reading comments left on posts about awards you won.  I got quite the boost when I found a wall post from a girl who said her first impression of me was "Wow, she must be good at lots of things!"

It can bring some closure too.  Ever clean out a drawer and find something an ex or a friend you had a falling out with gave you, be it a present or a letter?  Remember how good it felt to throw it out or rip it up?  Gives you a satisfied feeling of, "Well there's that gone, glad that's all done."  A similar feeling can be achieved through hitting the delete button.  It feels good to delete a status about a bad time you had in your life.  "Glad I've moved on from that, glad that's gone."

This is why I believe you SHOULD go back in your profile.  It's your Facebook profile, not your Facebook record.  It's a resume of who you are now and your past experiences, not a record of everything you've ever done ever.  To be fair, probably no one is going to be looking that far back, but if they do, they won't care that you had "Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?  I could really use a wish right now" as your status, but they may care about your status from when you were so proud of your team for making it to regionals and the pictures that accompany it.

On the internet you can be whomever you want to be.  Might as well clean it up to show your good side and present yourself as a mature/awesome/classy/fun individual.

1 comment:

  1. Way too many people should listen to this and take a look back at what they had posted oh so many years ago. If I still had Facebook I would probably want to find the tallest building around and, well, you know.

    Though we should never be embarrassed on who we were, I do agree that sometimes there is stuff posted that really ought not to be. Especially with it becoming more and more common for employers to 'creep' on a person through Facebook. Employers justify this by saying it shows what a persons outside of works character is like. I am unsure at this time if I agree or disagree with this practice.

    In the end, what is posted on the internet stays on the internet so ALWAYS think before you post. I do understand that at 12-13 years old (like in your 'CRAZY' picture) you are not really thinking of the future so I do agree that years later it really is worth going back and cleaning out the 'Facebook Closet'.

    Maybe that is something that should be taught to addicts in FA (Facebook Anonymous). Too many people are addicted to the drug known as Facebook. Sit back people and think, are you one of them? Could you go a week and not log into Facebook? If so would you be in a strait jacket by the end of it? Food for thought.

    Justin, The Forklift Driver