Lessons From Teenagers: The Art of the Facebook Super Log-Off


You know that particular heart thump that comes with leaving the Internet for awhile only to return to e-mails announcing you've been tagged in a Facebook photo or a friend has posted something on your wall? Well, just imagine if you were a teenager and you couldn't even rely on the hope that said friends were grown people who knew better than to post that photo of you in a dress you made out of all the Four Loko bottles you drank last night or ask about that job interview you skipped out of a meeting for. Noted privacy researcher Danah Boyd, a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, interviewed teenagers to see what strategies they used. Some, like whitewalling, just involve deleting everything as it comes. Another practice, sometimes called the super log-off, involves deactivating your Facebook every time you log on or off.

[Mikalah] knows that this doesn’t delete the account — that’s the point. She knows that when she logs back in, she’ll be able to reactivate the account and have all of her friend connections back. But when she’s not logged in, no one can post messages on her wall or send her messages privately or browse her content. But when she’s logged in, they can do all of that. And she can delete anything that she doesn’t like. Michael Ducker calls this practice “super-logoff” when he noticed a group of gay male adults doing the exact same thing.

And the children and gay men shall lead them. That's from the Bible, right?

Risk Reduction Strategies on Facebook [Apophenia]