Think back to when you first began building your online identity. Much of today’s youth created online profiles as early as middle school, and the age of internet users seems to get younger with every year.
Personally, my new Facebook ‘Timeline’ dates me back to 2005 when I originally joined the website as a 15 year-old in my sophomore year of high school. Granted, it has only been seven years and I keep my privacy set to ‘private’. Though, I don’t know how much I like that people have the potential to follow my life as I have progressed through maturity into adulthood.
Now, I am ‘friends’ with several family members, including my mother, aunts, and cousins, so I have always monitored my posts and what others post about me. Heaven forbid I let an incriminating photo slip through the cracks that could eventually cost me a future career opportunity or bring shame to my family.
Thus, I have been researching how to best start fresh and create a new Facebook profile that best represents me as I am today, while also cutting out the ‘friends’ that I have no interest in maintaining contact with.
Facebook will provide any user the opportunity to ‘deactivate’ their account. By deactivating, the user’s profile will become invisible to all users in the Facebook community. However, Facebook saves the information linked to the profile in case the user decides to reactivate.
By ‘starting fresh,’ I mean DELETING a Facebook account and creating a new one from scratch. Few users realize, but you can back up your current profile information to your computer in the ‘Account Settings’ option of a profile. This will allow access to all photos, contacts, posts, and other information linked to the profile to the user and can smooth the transition when beginning a new page. Therefore, all photos and previous posts or information is available to easily transfer onto the newly created profile.
In order to DELETE a Facebook account, the user must submit a request to the creators of Facebook providing a reason why the account should be erased. My personal reason is to build a more professional image online, though there may be several other reasons to start fresh.
Regardless of your reasoning, I believe that it may not be so bad to start fresh and make a few changes. It may bring new inspiration, or change how you view yourself or want others to view you. After I create my new profile, I look forward to seeing what ‘friends’ will maintain, and who will fall by the wayside.
For more information on how to update your Facebook profile, visit the Facebook Help Center.