I had a Facebook account from 2008 until I shut it down at the start of 2015. The privacy on this account was set to be shared with my friends, though over the years this climbed to about 100 people.
Towards my last year of use I was finding Facebook overly intrusive, I didn’t like the messenger App that seemed to be taking over from texting directly. Yes, group chats were handy, but I wasn’t comfortable with all my communication going through Facebook. I was also finding ‘Context Collapse’ happening more frequently – my friends list included work colleagues, my in-laws and family, and parents of my daughters friends. My ‘private’ space was getting very public and I found it very hard to separate who I wanted to see what (I never ‘got’ that aspect of FB). Towards the end I just stopped posting at all apart from in groups or chats.
It was cathartic deleting my facebook account, and yes I did actually delete it rather than suspend it. Before I went, I used a company called My Social Book to print out my FaceBook activity and photos, so I have this on a shelf at home to look at – it has become an ‘old-fashioned’ photo album. The Social Book site in itself is interesting because you can create books from your own, or from other peoples timelines – or even blend them together (as lovers or a family). It disturbed me to think of people being able to do that with content I’d posted without my permission.
I have to admit that I’ve kept a second Facebook account, that I’d set up for work which I keep public. In my job as a learning technologist I sometimes need to look at Facebook or test something, and I keep this just for this. I did experiment with sharing my blog posts here, but I stopped in 2015, as I found Twitter worked better for this. All my friends on this account are colleagues and I pretty much ignore it unless I need to test something. When anyone asks if I’m on Facebook I just say ‘No’ and if appropriate I share my email or phone number instead.