I consider my self to be a highly active user of Facebook but not necessarily an active contributor. As somebody who hates change, my “Facebook habits” have not deviated very much since I joined the site back in 2009. Since my start in the world of Facebook, I have devoted a significant portion of my time to keeping current on the pictures, statuses, events, and likes that appear on my news feed. That being said, I rarely create any activity myself that causes my name to come up on the feeds’ of my friends. While one part of me wants to be more active on social media, the traditionalist in me wants to remain stuck in my old ways. This means that I only like a limited number of things, I don’t add picture albums, and I do not write statuses that share what I am thinking or how I am feeling.
Even though I am not an active contributor to Facebook, my profile still tells a story and has enough content to keep the average Facebook stalker engaged for a decent amount of time. I want people to know as little about me as possible until they become my friend. Anybody can log onto Facebook and look me up. Therefore, I feel that it is best to restrict the judgment that can be passed about me before actually meeting me in person. In other words, the less you know about me, the better. That is why a large portion of my profile is private for people that I am not friends with. Still, there are a few things that I keep open as I consider them to be important to anybody that is considering clicking the “friend” button next to my name. First, I feel that people should be able to see which mutual friends we have in common. If we have do in fact have at least one mutual friend, there is a good chance that we share something in common. Also, people should be able to see one picture of me so that they can see if or not they recognize my face. Finally, I allow people to see which high school I attended and that I currently go to Emory. This is important because if it lets people know if we overlapped at some point should they be unsure.
The one big restriction that I have in regards to with whom I will be friends with is adults that know my parents. Although I know many people that are Facebook friends with their friends’ parents, I refuse to do that. As my mom is very nosy and feels the need to know everything, I will not be Facebook friends with anybody that knows my parents as it increases the chances that that person discusses something about me they see on Facebook with my mother. In essence, it ensures I have some layer of privacy. The most important thing is that I maintain a level of control over my profile.