I deleted my Facebook in January, but it had nothing to do with my concerns over a data breach or privacy issues. It was because I realized that the information slowly being collated was actually building a psychological profile of who I was, which is fine if that’s a true reflection, but, as many have pointed out, our online Selves are projections of a highlight reel.
I think this raises a deeper philosophical question around what the data represents rather than the information it contains.
The ‘who’ I was developing wasn’t me but rather an idyllic version, influenced by the societal pressures that we’ve built around Likes etc. My choice to delete Facebook was in reaction to that realization and the inability to recognize myself.
I’m now attracted to platforms which encourage ‘layered’ development of Self rather than the construction of a Self within the restriction of a profile. Yes, Medium has a profile but your identity/data on that profile is represented in the essays you write and each new essay adds to, and evolves, that identity. The Blog, and now Vlog, incorporate both Time and Change, which are central elements to the human experience. I feel like the profiles we create on Facebook, and perhaps also Instagram, hamper our ability to express the changes we experience because to really grow is often a messy and unattractive process to project.