It’s soon the year 2016 and coming close to my 10th year anniversary using Facebook. I decided it’s finally time to clean up my posts. I knew there was silly content posted for the last 9 years, and silly content I did find (and deleted).
It also hit me to what extent there are now functionalities that we now take for granted.
By deleting old posts, I now appreciate how much I’ve matured and evolved to better understanding the world. I also noticed how a lot of very dumb comments on my part are now readily accessible to a lot more people than I had anticipated when signing up with the service.
The past and the future are colliding. What was once considered to be a closed ecosystem (exclusive access to university freshmen) has become more accessible service. Our content was grand-fathered to a bigger pool of people that I met later in life. This creates a flux of content that was initially destined only for a group of similar demographic to the rest of the population.
Embarrassing content is collectively embarrassing. Content is directed online and has a publisher and recipient. Both have to play the game for damage control of what is published since publication is controlled by two parties. The new generation of social media users understand this. With social media having ephemeral content like Snapchat, posts require little maintenance since automatically deleted posts leave “no paper trail”.
Compartmentalization of what is public is now taken for granted. The rise of group-chat functionalities within social media channels simply goes to show how users prefer to compartmentalize the stream of information and what is publicly accessible.
Public means different things depending on service. “Public” posts now have different meanings by service. WhatsApp and WeChat define public posts to be exposed only to your friends. In comparison with Facebook and Twitter, their definition of public means the rest of the internet.
The era of feelings and emoticons will continue to rise. You can customize your messages better than before with a vast array of specific emoticons, feelings, events, right away. I’m noticing that 10 years ago, you had to mainly type it yourself on your own with sometimes a limited amount of “feelings” on Myspace and Facebook.
Give it a go. Overall, I’d invite you to go have this introspective, perhaps daunting experience of going back and checking out your posts over many years. You’ll have a blast of nostalgia, perhaps a refreshing laugh and a chance to clean up some/many skeletons in your digital closet.
If this is somewhat interesting to you, take a couple of hours to zoom through posts and put some Netflix in the background. Just remember not to judge yourself or your peers too harshly for past actions.