Facebook is testing a feature that let’s you set your profile to “private” so that only your closest friends can see what you’re up to. Which begs the question, who do you have on Facebook? Clearly these aren’t all your “friends”, if you want to block them from seeing certain things. I can understand if you have a business, perhaps some people on there aren’t your friends. But if you have a personal Facebook account, shouldn’t most, if not all be your friends? I’m saying this a bit tongue in cheek as I know people who have “thousands” of friends. And I ask the question – how do you know all these people? The answer is, they don’t. They make friend requests, but don’t really know who they’re talking to.
And maybe that’s why this is becoming a new feature. As of right now, you aren’t able to make your profile private. But Facebook seems to be testing it out in their Android beta app. Which means, we don’t necessarily know what is going to be included in it. You can already hide certain parts of your profile so they are only visible to certain people. Which makes us wonder if Facebook is simply streamlining the already available features. What is unclear is whether or not people will know that they’re viewing a separate profile. And if not, would they go and tell everyone about your hidden profile?
Private profiles could help Facebook feel a bit more personal. But is this going to become a “job” to manage all that information? Like keeping track of your side pieces? While I am joking about this, it does lead you to wonder what people will do with a “private” profile. It seems like a good idea in some ways. Maybe you only want some of your friends to know that you went out on Friday night. Perhaps you want to keep your pictures away from your coworkers. Which makes sense… but then don’t add them as “friends”.
A close friend of mine (yes, an actual friend) always says to me that I don’t necessarily have friends, I have acquaintances. I was a bit offended by this when he first said this as it implied that they didn’t know me. Or I didn’t know them. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he was right. And this definitely applies to Facebook. How can you have a thousand “friends”? It’s literally impossible to keep up with that many people on a regular basis. To my friend’s point, though, I do have friends that I keep in touch with. But not regularly. Not weekly. Not even monthly. But on a quarterly basis or so, I’d say that we reach out to each other to see what’s happening. And if something big comes up in the mean time, we let each other know.
I’ve known these people for 20 or even 30 years in some cases. And they live all over the country. So not talking on a regular basis isn’t uncommon. But getting back to this Facebook feature. I’m not sure that I’m on board with it. It will be interesting to see what the capabilities are. And honestly, I’m interested to see how people use it. That being said. If you’re thinking about using it, maybe you should cull your Facebook Friends list? Or send a group iMessage out to all your friends with whom you want to share this information with. There are so many other ways to go about this. I’m not sure that a private profile is the answer.