I’ve recently cut back on my Facebook friendslist. As in, riiiiiiiiiight back.
But I want to you to know that it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve set up my new rules for Facebook, including who doesn’t make the cut to be on my friendslist (hint: bloggers and current workmates don’t make the cut).
To explain why:
Even though I am a blogger, tweeter, instagrammer, google plusser—the whole shebang—I take my privacy very seriously. I take it seriously because I’ve made mistakes in the past, because I want to protect my family and friends, because I want to respect their respective wishes for their privacy, because I want to protect my current employment status and because I don’t completely trust the free services that I use (especially Facebook). I usually have a policy of only adding friends on Facebook if I would invite them to my birthday party; a yardstick that has served me pretty well (and prevented me from adding any exes to my list).
Over the years, I’ve treated Facebook as a networking tool, adding workmates and fellow bloggers to my FB friendslist alongside cousins, long lost friends and in-laws.
But I have a conservative employer with a conservative social media policy, especially when it comes to Facebook. I’ve been freaked out by too many horror stories from all over the place, where people have unknowingly breached their employer’s social media policy because of something a friend shared on their wall or an embarrassing photo they’ve been tagged in. You can only change so many Facebook security settings to protect yourself (also: FB just looooooves changing settings without warning); you’re also at the mercy of your Facebook friends (or friends of friends) doing the right thing. To protect me, my employer and my coworkers, I’ve decided that I’ll only be Facebook friends with ex-workmates.
The latest trend I’ve been noticing on Facebook is bloggers setting themselves up with a personal account on Facebook (i.e. not a page) with a fake name, be it the name of their blog or their online moniker. And this is totally cool in my books, don’t get me wrong. More power to you if that’s what you want to do. But when these people are my friends on Facebook, I can’t help but feel the friendship is a bit one-sided. Even when I tried to set up permission levels for different sub-lists in Facebook, I found it to be sporadic at best with protecting info /people I wanted to keep protected. I don’t have the time or the inclination to set up another Facebook account just for me to connect with bloggers. That’s what my blog, twitter, instagram and FB page accounts are for. So to protect me and family/friends, I’ve decided that I won’t be Facebook friends with (most) bloggers.
I know I could be at just as much risk on my blog, twitter, instagram and pinterest, accounts (especially considering I have at least two of each), but Facebook is the most used by even my least tech-savvy family, friends and colleagues. My trust issues with Facebook are enough for me to have re-evaluated how I use Facebook and how I choose to connect with it.