Skeleton Profile

In Rebecca Cusey’s Facebook Has Become My Manipulative Boyfriend:

It was hard, but I shut it down. First I downloaded all the photos and updates I’d made in more innocent, trusting days when Facebook was bright and new. Then I deleted my account. Since I have to manage social media for work, I must have a skeleton account. I made a profile, locked the privacy options down, and entered only professional data. I made my wall public, but I only post my articles there. I accept any friends, but I mute their feeds so that I don’t have a constant stream of chatter coming at me. I’d rather be off Facebook altogether, but this is a compromise that works for me. I have similar rules of engagement for Twitter and Instagram as well.

Facebook used to offer account-types solely for managing pages. I don’t think they’ve offered that as of a few years ago. It’s what I started looking for when I wanted to nuke my profile. I tried everything: looking for pages-only options, tried signing up under my work email, tried inviting my work email as a Facebook page admin. Even if it was possible at some point FB transitioned to only letting you use your real identity, which could explain why I’ve noticed more people using fake names.

I’m not sure that matters. If everyone knows Mr. Pink is really Richard Franklin (pretend this is a real person for a second) then what difference does it make? Facebook doesn’t need to know your real name to target you if you provide it your location and interests, not to mention all the data it’s pulling from your browsing history.

What’s the difference between this and a profile you just don’t post to anymore? I guess if you start from scratch you don’t have any history.

And if Facebook is so poor at respecting our trust and helping us manage our relationships between our friends, what does that say about how it manages our relationships to organizations we want to be associated with? If that is also poor (the algorithm changes this year suggest it’s even worse), then why even have a Facebook page for your company or organization?

And if it doesn’t make sense for you to have a profile to stay in touch with friends or to have a page to promote your organization – THEN WHY ARE WE STILL ALL ON FACEBOOK?

I can only think of two reasons.

  1. We are all on Facebook because it’s better than nothing.
  2. We are all on Facebook because we are all on Facebook.