Facebook Is Our Digital Junk Drawer

Marie Kondo would hate it.

11.03.15
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Ladies, gents, comrades of the Internet, we’re a mess.

No offense.

But let’s face it: we’ve spent the past decade of our lives tossing our random memories into a cloistered section of the Internet that’s starting to resemble the box of knick-knacks you’ve been carting around since you moved out of your parents’ house.

I’m talking about Facebook, the social media junk drawer of our lives.

Even the neatest of freaks out there are likely guilty. How could you not be? Practically 40% of our lives are stored in our Facebook profiles.

Did you hear me?! A decade!!

Braces, breakups, the freshman fifteen — it is all in there.

What was once a simple news feed and a handful of photo albums that helped us appear like “normal” potential college roommates has turned into disarray. If anyone new were to go snooping now, it would make for a terrible first impression.

Like the bin labeled “miscellaneous” under my bed, I try to keep Facebook closed. For the most part. (Ignorance is bliss.) But every time a friend request from a co-worker, a new pal or an obscure family member pops up, I’m forced to come face-to-face with my clutter.

Clicking “confirm” is like inviting guests over without cleaning up first, and I’ve read far too much Emily Post to let that happen.

Thankfully, there’s a certain degree of understanding among millennial contemporaries that our profiles are all kind of a wreck. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to cringe when I use Facebook to reach out to old childhood friends. Those people knew me before I discovered leave-in conditioner, so I’m safe from judgment. But I’ve certainly drawn the line at taking new friendships to that social media level.

No one wants to grant new friends access to the steep rabbit hole of our lives.

So, how did it come to this? How did we spiral into Facebook clutter oblivion? Like any mess, there’s a tipping point, the moment when a pile goes from acceptably untidy to utter disaster.

Let’s blame time. Life spent working in the real world means we have less time to flip through rogue-tagged Spring Formal pics.

We have less time time to filter: The mass photo albums, event requests, group invites and game challenges – the sheer volume of stuff became too much.

We have less time to spare: Figure out the privacy settings? Do you also plan on mastering astrophysics overnight?

Instagram, on the other hand, is the sleek minimalist desk we finally purchased. No more cluttered drawers, just neat stacks of magazines, an ironic paperweight and an artisanal candle. It’s where we messy keepers of the original Facebook generation share a much more conscious rendering of ourselves. It’s our updated resume.

However, like any good junk drawer, we know there’s vital stuff in there. Facebook is the keeper of birthdays, engagements and updates on the kids who grew up on your block. These reminders are like safety pins in the most crucial of moments.

Facebook may be messy. It’s certainly not “curated,” but neither is real life. Double chins may have been untagged, but some memories are too good to delete. We’re too nostalgic to clean it.

Besides: junk drawers are gold mines for Instagram TBTs.

Also, if you are thinking about changing your profile picture don’t do so blindly and  Consider this first.

Illustrated by Max Dower of Unfortunate Portrait.

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  • Maia Binhammer

    Yes! Love the comparison – spot on.

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  • Bella Charlwood

    I like how Zuckerman is so close to Zuckerberg

    • Rachel Zuckerman

      HA! If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if we were related…

  • Sinéad Danielle ✿

    Loved this! I guess that makes Snapchat the voyeuristic window that your neighbours can see you live your life through and Pinterest is the notice board in the kitchen that’s overflowing with flyers and cut-out recipes. What does that make Twitter though?

  • updated resumes? safety pins? EXCELLENT analogies!

  • Why I love the “On this day” app on FB. I’m able to delete old / expired links / posts.