Facebook Free Works for Me

I’m not going to post any links mainly because it’s only stuff I’ve been hearing secondhand on Twitter, but there have been (perhaps unsurprisingly?) more issues with Facebook’s privacy filters. I also just recently saw an article (via Twitter) about employers asking for a link to your Facebook page when applying. My first reaction was to wonder why you would share such a link if you were worried about it making a bad impression; why not just say you have no page?

My second thought was to be glad that I legitimately do not have a facebook presence anymore.

As some of my regular readers and friends already know, I set my facebook account for deletion in August. By October I had confirmation that the account was actually, finally, completely gone.

Sometimes it’s a little frustrating to see an incoming link to the blog from Facebook and not be able to see what it’s actually saying, but I don’t really regret the choice.

I feel like I’m more in control of my online presence by sticking with twitter, my blog and my own website (more on that in a future post!) where I can actually keep track of the privacy settings and know exactly what is being seen and by whom–in my case that actually translates to everyone can see everything. Some people don’t like working with that lack of privacy but I find it easier to assume everything is public and just claim all of that content instead of trying to parse out who can see what and when and where they can see it. Not that I do anything “inappropriate” online but now that I can really track all of my information more easily I know there is very little chance of being caught unawares about information about me appearing online.

I also have been using my time online more productively now that I’m not wasting so much lurking on facebook and, weirdly, I feel like I’m more connected with people now that I don’t have an account at the ultimate social networking and connecting site.

On the one hand, I’ve “lost touch” with a lot of people from high school. On the other hand, we weren’t really in touch anyway. This might just be me but I was starting to feel like facebook gave me permission to not talk to people because I could find out anything with one profile view. Now that I can’t do that, I actually need to talk to people for real. And that’s resulted in seeing more people too.

The other side of that coin is that I also realize I’m not the easiest person to be friends with. I (probably) tweet too much, I don’t like to text, my feelings about talking on the phone are ambiguous at best, and I kind of hate Google Chat and gmail for complicated reasons I won’t get into here. I am great with email and I love AIM and Twitter, but a lot of people don’t. And of course now I’m not even on facebook. I’m trying to get better by keeping in mind how other people like to talk and am working on being more accessible (though making sense of google chat is proving harder than I’d expected).

Like everything else, navigating an online presence is a process and I think I finally have one that I really like. I’m happy with my website and social networking choices. (I cannot wait to show you guys my website! It’s fierce.) I think I’m finally using these tools for blogging and tweeting and just being online in the way I’d always envisioned I would be. And that makes me much happier than getting a bunch of “likes” on a facebook status ever did.

But that’s me, what are your thoughts on social networking and privacy online?