I have never felt the need to make my personal Facebook or any other personal social media profile public. Making your profile public means that anyone can see what you’ve posted and sometimes they don’t even need to be on Facebook to see it.
I think unless you’re trying to earn a living, a public profile is an uncomfortable amount of personal information to put out there for general consumption.
Why do I feel this way? I think way too much personal information gets bandied about and it’s starting to hurt people. It’s become easier every day to socially engineer a person simply based on what they share on social media. I’m not alone in this belief.
There are many problems with a personal public profile but I think the biggest issue is not only are they exposing themselves, they are exposing every one of their friends that comment on their public profile. If you have an unpopular opinion or make an off-color remark on a public profile, everyone can see it, search for your name and find it then they can punish you for it by unfriending you or perhaps not hiring you for that job you really wanted. Is it worth it?
When I promoted my blog on social media I made those profiles Public, but never made my personal profile public. What I post is for my friends and family and that’s private. I know there are some people that have a public profile because they are promoting their business, hobby or career and those I can understand, but if you’re just re-posting memes and pictures of what you made for dinner then being public says something entirely different about you and it’s not good. You have a shameful public agenda and it’s showing.
There are also folks that have a public profile because they aren’t aware it’s public. These are people that are just getting used to social media platforms and have no idea their settings are public. So how do you know what you think you’re just sharing with your friends, is actually going out to the underbelly of society? That’s easy enough to fix.
- Open your account
- Click the down arrow next to the question mark in the upper right corner of the page
- Choose Settings
- In the left column choose Privacy and follow the instructions
I’ve done some research and have realized that personal public profiles fall into a few different categories. They are:
- Political Know-it-all
- Humble Braggart
- Insufferable Flirt
- The Glommer (someone that likes to steal another person’s identity, specialty or knowledge)
- 100% Narcissist With an Agenda (This one is all of them and extra)
There are quite a few public profiles I find hilarious and one of them is the Political Know-it-all. This is someone that truly believes that to change the world all they have to do is publicly decry their political injustices on Facebook. And yet they would never think for one second to step outside their home and hand out flyers or attend a rally of any kind. I sometimes wonder if they even vote.
Don’t be a public Political Know-it-all! Do something local to help your community instead and discuss your views with like-minded people who can help organize some legit public education for people whose minds you just might change.
The Humble Braggart likes to humbly brag about everything they do. They have the best job, they got a new car, they do the most traveling, they eat the best food, their home is stunning, their yard is pristine, they’re the smartest person in the world and they win awards and do the most volunteering and they like to rub your nose in it by asking you to participate, “Hey ya’ll! I’m gonna be in Hawaii working hard soon. Recommendations for the best bars is always welcome! Wish ya’ll could come but dooty calls!” And they do all of this so they can post it publicly for the whole world to congratulate them and maybe even feel a bit envious.
The problem with being a publicly Humble Braggart is what you’re actually showing most of us is your life isn’t as great as you want it to be. If it was you wouldn’t need to publicly brag about it. Share your life with people that genuinely care about you and not with every stranger on Facebook.
The Insufferable Flirt is someone that’s looking for love in all the public places. Any love will do! They post a new filtered-to-the-nth-degree selfie every week and try to add a cutesy little caption that makes them sound like they’re living their best life. I told my husband once that I knew people that looked way better on Facebook than they did in real life. That’s pretty sad. Comments on the Insufferable Flirt’s page are suggestive and often inappropriate and everyone on Facebook gets a front row seat to this poor sap’s pretend-lovelife.
This is a very lonely person. LEAVE THE HOUSE and go meet some real people.
The Glommer always amazes me. Can they not see what they’re doing? Or do they not care? It’s the best example I can imagine of someone that has completely lost touch with reality. To glom onto something means to steal it. They want something so badly they assume the identity of it. For instance, I wrote a book about narcissists and someone becomes so obsessed with what I know they glom onto it as if it was their idea to start with. Or the guy that brags he’s a secret agent man because his friend works for the government. Or the boyfriend that plays guitar so they pretend they are a musical genius and singer too. The list is endless.
My advice is the same for this profile: leave the house! Get out into the real world and find your own identity!
Last but not least is the 100% Narcissist With an Agenda. This is someone with way too much time on their hands and an unstable mind to guide them.
- They spend the bulk of their day in front of their screens, probably in their pajamas.
- They keep vampire hours which is kind of creepy because vampires are also known for trying to suck the life out of others. Just check the timestamps on their posts. They are most active between 4 o’clock in the afternoon and wind down around 4 o’clock the next morning. Note: remember the timestamps are based on your time so if you are East coast and they are West coast then 7am your time is 4am their time.
- They post almost every single day with at least two to three, sometimes more, posts everyday. They cover everything from what they ate to politics (because they too are a Political Know-it-all) to anything new they’ve done to their house or new clothes or a place they’ve been (Humble Braggart) and if they’re single, whoa watch out! They also specialize in anything you specialize in (The Glommer!).
- They whine about perceived transgressions on the regular. They tend to celebrate some past mythical hurt someone did to them and ask for validation that they didn’t deserve it.
This profile is an interesting voyeuristic train wreck usually with a personal vendetta.
- They like to pretend to themselves that they are so incredibly interesting that everyone wants to watch them. Even the ex-wife, who they despise, of the new boyfriend stops by to see what they’re up to.
- Sometimes they are angry that someone enforced personal boundaries and rejected them when they were abusive so they post about that.
- They need to pretend someone cares enough to watch them so they will post veiled comments/memes hoping someone asks them if they are okay.
(I love bullet points!)
They are determined to validate their anger about life or their lust for revenge and attention or any number of whatever flavor of damage they pretend has befallen them at any given time and it’s all out there for public consumption. It’s an embarrassment of bitches and most of the time it’s all fantasy they have created in order to appear interesting. They desperately need to feel important.
I don’t have any advice for this kind of profile but I can advise the people that befriend them…
The key phrase here is “They like to pretend to themselves…” because that is their personal tragedy. This is someone who lives totally through social media and all of it’s pitfalls and traps. My best advice is to keep them on the backburner and don’t engage on any level. You can delete them and block them but rest assured they will throw publicly posted poison darts your way if you do . Once you accept that friend request you’re in the game and getting out will cost you. It cost me an an Uber ride and a few nights in a hotel and it was worth every penny.
So if you have a public personal profile keep in mind that you have no say in how it’s publicly perceived. If you would like more Facebook Advice use the Search box at the top of the page.
Good luck out there and remember privacy is golden, spend it wisely.