December 02, 2007
About three months ago, through one of Sibylle’s sons, I was introduced to Facebook. I am not the social network type, but it was interesting to be involved in something that was so popular. Unfortunately, as recent stories have shown, Facebook is perhaps not the safest place to have a digital representation of oneself.
Neither, as it turns out, is it the easiest place to exit. I spent roughly thirty minutes this morning unchecking or removing all the information I could. Some pieces of information couldn’t be removed. My birth date for example. Once you put that year in, it’s locked and cannot be changed. The month and the day are mutable and have been altered.
Part of the difficulty in removing yourself from Facebook is that so many of its features intertwine you with other members of the service. All the messages you posted, all the applications you installed, all the interactions with your friends leave a trace of you elsewhere.
I was able to eradicate most of my presence on the site, simply because I hadn’t participated in its many offerings. The final step was to “deactivate” my account. Facebook assumes that you will want to return some day, so you can’t (to my knowledge) delete your account. As near as I can tell, the only pieces of information left in my account are my email address, my name, and the year of my birth.