Thomas R Alexander

Manager, Developer, and professional problem solver

Why I came back to Facebook

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you have have read one of my most popular articles, Why I left Facebook. Well I’m here today to tell you why I came back. I discovered how to correctly use Facebook Friend Lists and how to tie access and security to them. I recommend you do the same.

Rather than sort through my friend nightmare (500+ friends, only a handful of which I’d actually call friends; the rest are people I just know or have met once), I created a list called “actual friends.” Then, I went into my privacy settings and allowed pretty much full access to all of my information for those who appear in the actual friends list. I did the same for photos and posts. Everyone else sees my limited profile with basic status updates. Nothing else. I feel a lot more comfortable now. Now I don’t have to chop through my friends list, leaving some people wondering why I de-friended them.  I can add people I barely know and further differentiate them from my actual friends.  Additionally, now I can look at the status updates of only my “actual friends.” No more sorting through lists composed of people I really care to know nothing about, just to discover what is going on with my friends. If you haven’t used Facebook’s list feature, I highly recommend that you do.

Facebook used to actually ask you how you knew a person when you added them as a friend. The problem is, most people didn’t use this feature and the data then became irrelevant. If only that caught on , we wouldn’t have this mess we do now. The sad thing is, Facebook has become merely a yearbook of people you once went to school with, worked with, worked out with, met at a party once, or creepily stalk.

I’m still not comfortable with the fact that Facebook essentially has a timeline of my life from 2004-2010 somewhere propagated across hundreds of their servers. That’s a bit unsettling. But I as a consumer use the service and accept the risk. Let’s hope they never let me down.

Let me know if you want a deeper run-down on the whole friend lists. I’d be happy to create a follow-up post with some screen caps.

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