I left Facebook a year ago over concerns about the way they handle privacy and concerns about my professional life. See, my Facebook profile was in my given name, which meant a potential employer could easily find it. I think that my conversations about disability stuff and my somewhat problematic friends list would be less than helpful in getting a job.
When I say somewhat problematic, I’m mostly talking about family. See, I have a couple of young family members whose public/private filters don’t match at all with mine. A cousin posted pictures of herself in lingerie to her facebook, which sure startled me! Another relative is prone to posting things like herself drinking when she was underage and smoking joints. Now, if this was just personal, it wouldn’t bother me much, but nowadays employers DO look at facebook, not only at your page but who you have friended. I’m sure the quick answer then is ‘okay, so unfriend them!’ – the problem is, my family is prone to DRAMA. If I unfriended family, I would hear about it at the next family gathering and several more besides.
If future employers would only look at my profile, well, it would be difficult because I talk about disability issues and being tired and sore and so on. But they don’t, nowadays – they look at your friends, too. So I deleted my profile.
Well, enough friends have been on facebook recently that I’m putting one up with my nom de plume, Kali Blaze. Part of me feels bad, because the issue of principle still exists and is still a problem. On the other hand, having a disability is pretty isolating, so having another medium for connection available to me is a good thing.
* Opt-out models are ugly business, in my opinion. Basically, an opt-out model means the business says ‘we are doing this thing unless you do X, Y, and Z to forbid us from doing so. I think opt-in models are much more ethical, where you have to tell them they can do whatever it was they wanted to do.