The delete button seems to be a confusing and overused feature on social networking platforms. People think they can say whatever they want and then when the water they boiled with their own thoughts gets a little hot to stand in, they will simply go and press “delete” and act like the interaction never happened…but wait, it did.
Everything you put on the internet has a history tied to it somewhere. It never actually “goes away”. This is why SnapChat is scary…sending a picture of yourself in compromising situations or sharing anything that has a “publish” feature never disappears completely. Trust me, it’s out there waiting to be found again.
I’ve had moms ask me questions about their kid’s Facebook accounts as they come up to apply for colleges and maybe worse, scholarships. They want to know if they delete everything on their child’s page, will that help. It could, but once something is out there – it can be recovered. Same goes when applying for jobs. There are companies that go out there and recover all your posts, photos, etc. and share with employers to make sure you are a quality fit for their culture. Egads, right?
What if you go on a rant about something and potentially expose you or someone else to possible trouble with the law, an employer, a spouse, school, a friend, etc? Deleting won’t help you. In fact, those comments may reappear in the future during a Facebook upgrade even. Some people prefer to have documentation too. So for example, some people have Facebook accounts set-up so every interaction sends them an email with exactly what was shared. Deleting your comments doesn’t mean they never happened.
To understand the deletion process, you should understand the publishing process first.
Only push “Write a comment” or “Publish” or “Tweet” or “Post” when what you have to say could be shared with your family, employer, police, judge etc. face-to-face. Publishing a comment is tied to you no matter if you delete it or not. If you can stand behind what you shared in a way that doesn’t question your integrity, honesty, credibility, compliance, etc. then you have nothing to worry about when you put the information out there. However, when you delete a comment those same qualities are questioned because you are no longer on board with your own thoughts making you appear to be a bit of a chump. That probably wasn’t what you were going for when you posted your comments in the first place.
If you have a habit of deleting comments, I encourage that you instead practice prudent posting (say that 5x fast!) and ditch the delete button. It causes more harm, question and mystery to you as a person than it’s worth.
Have a Bigger, Better and more BIONIC day!
Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite