Snark free future, limitless. Finding Self-Regulation on Facebook (Facebook’s Privacy Failures)

Snark free future, limitless. Finding Self-Regulation on Facebook (Facebook’s Privacy Failures)

Three days ago I made an agressive promise on Facebook.

The new facebook rule: no snarking


So, it didn’t actually shut me the heck up, but… I have started a process. A self-reflecting and self-regulating process for cleaning up my Facebook feed.

Last week I didn’t think much about it. My Facebook settings were all PRIVATE. Meaning FRIENDS ONLY. And I was meeting someone new over coffee when they said, “Oh I looked at your Facebook stuff.”

I laughed uncomfortably. “Um, what do you mean?”

“You’re pretty active on Facebook. I don’t have near that many friends.”

“What could you see?” I asked.


“You mean, all my posts and stuff?” I asked, now beginning to get angry. (not at her)

“Yeah, your friends, your posts, your pictures.”


Some time later, when I went to look at my Facebook page, this setting (by some update from Facebook, I’m sure) had moved BACK TO PUBLIC.

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 9.56.24 AM


I flipped it back to FRIENDS ONLY. This was the one thing I was certain of, in my ability to limit my visibility so I could continue ranting and dropping f-bombs, forwarding unflattering jokes, etc. The things I did on Facebook before Saturday.

I clicked on the “More Settings” and immediately reselected “Limit the Audience for Old Posts.”

Limiting Visibility of Old Posts


The quaint little warning icon from Facebook. OH MY, are you sure you want to cover your tracks?

And then I went back to business as usual. But I’ve been thinking about Facebook ever since. What do I get from Facebook?

  • Am I narcissistically driven? (don’t answer that, it was rhetorical)
  • Why are we not getting the online banter somewhere else, some where more personal and private? Like blog comments.
  • Why does everyone HATE Facebook and yet everyone uses it?
  • What about my sister’s kids who started following me at Christmas time? (15-year-olds)
  • And that CLIENT who asked to “friend” me BEFORE accepting the terms of our work agreement? I had pitched a significant amount of social media work. What about them?
  • And the future clients who are expecting me to lead them in the Facebook world?
  • Where was my PUBLIC persona on Facebook?

I am sick of the wondering and complaining about Facebook this and Facebook that. So Saturday, I made the declaration to end the f-bomb and snark-tastic behavior on Facebook. Now, I’m not quite ready to open the floodgates to PUBLIC just yet. And maybe I won’t.

But I’ve decided to allow the TURN ON FOLLOW feature on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 9.54.15 AM

But the main thing I’m committed to is, upping my positive behavior and lowering my negative behavior on Facebook. I’ve got some PAGES where I can broadcast my political views and some PAGES where I participate in heated discussions. (no f-bombs anywhere, however, cold turkey stop)

It was Klout that finally brought the Facebook problem home to me.

I didn't like how much FACEBOOK was influencing my Klout Score


52% of my social influence was happening on Facebook? GAK! I didn’t even really like Facebook. But I lacked a better platform for saying HI, saying YOU SUCK (which I don’t say any more) and giving LIKEs to causes, cat and dog funnies, and friend’s concerns/updates.

That was going to change.

No f-bombs. No snarks. 100% Positive. And soon 100% public. That’s how I used to use Facebook. As an open HOWDY WORLD page. And perhaps that’s what it needs to become again. I’ve got plenty of private places where I share. There’s no reason I should be flooding all of my friend’s feeds with all of my ideas and inspirations all day.

I’m partitioning off my Social Media Updates to several Facebook pages/groups: UBER.LA, and my musician updates to BUZZIE. And the other two groups,  DIVORCE and POLITICS, are anonymous. And then, if things go as I think they will, I will read what PUBLIC means, and learn if my LIMIT PREVIOUS POSTS keeps those posts SHUT.

Or more likely, I will chose PUBLIC or FRIENDS as I post on Facebook in a POST-BY-POST decision process. Consciously deciding is this a PUBLIC idea or a PRIVATE one. And if it’s PRIVATE, I think I will redirect it to a different forum. Better yet, a non-Facebook forum.

So that’s me, Snark Free – Day #3.

Keep It Social Out There!(tm)

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


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