I deactivated my Facebook account at some point in late 2008 when, after having spent an evening setting specific privacy settings and lists, I realised that too much information was visible to people I didn’t want to see it. Sure, I could have limited the information I put on there in the first place, but I realised I didn’t like Facebook anyway and most people on there were either old colleagues, people that I didn’t have much contact to and hardly any people I actually cared about.
To say I missed Facebook is overstating it. I missed out on some events as they were advertised on Facebook and people initially assumed I had seen the invitations. I missed out on some birthdays as I forgot to write the important ones down before I deactivated my account and I also missed out on some pictures as people would post them on Facebook and nowhere else. At the same time I was already using Twitter and a German social networking site, so I still had the same social interactions.
I reactivated my account again in April this year as I remembered some pictures on my account which weren’t backed up anywhere else and, after copying them, had a look around. I removed most of my personal information on there, deleted several photo albums and apps and a large number of the ‘friends’. Colleagues I haven’t worked with in seven years? Gone. Friends of friends I’ve met at several parties six years ago? Gone. Housemates from the same amount of time? Gone. People I’m not in contact with in some shape or form? Gone..
I also closed a separate Facebook account I had in order to view a friend’s linked photo album using a secondary email address which, for some strange reason, had 18 friend requests!
Will I use Facebook much? I doubt it. I don’t like what they’re doing with the lack of privacy and Facebook’s integration on other sites which I also don’t like for sites offering a Twitter login, but overall it’s good to stay in contact with the people I do want to stay in contact with.