Yesterday I decided to make a new Facebook “page” which will be mainly for my Dragon-related posts, with the idea that it could possibly replace (or at least take the focus away from) my Facebook “profile”, which I might eventually shut down or at least make much more private than it currently is.
For reasons which I will explain below, I have two Facebook profiles. My original profile uses my real name, and my 2nd profile was under the name of Topaz Drachen, but in March 2015 I was getting rather worried about losing my 2nd profile due to Facebook’s real name policy after seeing another friend have her profile with her Pagan name changed to a “page” by Facebook without even notifying her first. 😡 I knew of others with Pagan names who were told by FB to use their real names and then prove their identity by sending copies of documentation to FB which showed their legal names and other identifying information. The prospect of losing my profile, setting up again and resending friend requests was just too much to contemplate and there’s no way I would ever send copies of any proof of identity documents to FB so I thought I’d make the change before that happened to me too and changed it to a slight variation of my real name with Topaz Drachen as the “nickname” so friends on that profile wouldn’t get confused. 😦
Facebook’s reasoning behind their real name policy was that fake accounts were being set up for the purposes of bullying, harassment and criminal activity. I guess there could also be legal fallout for FB to deal with if it was found to be used for illegal purposes. The idea is that if everyone is using their real name that these sorts of activities will be reduced. Trouble is they didn’t think about those people who don’t want to use their real names for their own protection from all sorts of issues, such as discrimination and resulting loss of jobs etc, or even just ridicule and annoying comments from ignorant family and friends. 😦
I do share a lot of Pagan-related stuff on my original profile but my love of Dragons and many of my spiritual beliefs are just a bit too “out there” for some family and friends to accept (and respect) so I’d rather just avoid any issues that might arise and avoid conflict and embarrassment by hiding out under the 2nd profile for a while longer. 😉
The trouble is, I keep changing my mind about how, exactly, I want to use Facebook. Once-upon-a-time (in 2003) before Facebook (yes, there was such a time! LOL) I became interested in Witchcraft so I joined a local Pagan group. My non-pagan friends and most of my family knew nothing about this at that time so I could happily conduct my online activities without them being involved. Back then MSN Groups were a thing and we conducted nearly all of our online Pagan networking via the free MSN Groups platform. This free online hosting facility was eventually going to shut down so we decided to organise our own privately hosted website and our very own domain name etc, with me as website manager. With the launch of our new website in 2007 we needed another avenue for networking so one of our members suggested we all sign up to MySpace (founded August 1, 2003) and this relatively new thing called Facebook (founded February 4, 2004 but not available to people outside of higher education institutions until 2006 when it was made available to anyone 13 years or older). Originally I and our other group members used Facebook solely for Pagan networking and the majority of our FB “friends” were Pagans of some description. I didn’t share any personal stuff, just announcements of what events our group was hosting, when and where etc, so I happily accepted friend requests from total strangers who were also interested in our Pagan gatherings.
Over the years my FB usage has changed and the need arose to have many family members and non-pagan friends included on my friends list. I have since “culled” a substantial number of “strangers” from my list in that time, though there are still people who I barely know personally or with whom I have only had minimal online contact. Even though Facebook has since developed various ways of filtering who gets to see which messages I post I decided it was easier to set up the 2nd profile and invite all my Pagan friends to join me there, but only a few did, so I’ve ended up with a mix of people on both profiles. Keeping 2 profiles has its advantages and disadvantages. Now the 2nd profile also has quite a large number of “friends” who are total strangers as well as “followers” who are not “friends” who only get to see my public posts, and I’m wondering if I really want to keep doing things this way or not.
I also have another FB page called The Dragonswood which I set up ages ago on which to post updates for all of my blogs. Over the years I’ve lost interest in some of my blogs and have focussed more on others. The “Likes” on that page are spread across a range of topics so I guess not everyone there is interested in every crappy little update I post, which is another reason I decided to create a new page for Dragons only. Plus, any excuse to make a shiny new page for something. 😉
Anyway, please “Like” my new Topaz Drachen page if you want to, as it may end up being the best or possibly the only way to follow me on Facebook. 🙂 I’m still considering my options so in the meantime I’ll ponder this matter further and eventually decide whether I keep two profiles as they are, or restrict one or both, or only use my new page and my original profile (in which case I will need to be very vigilant in my use of lists and message filters) :::sigh::: decisions, decisions.
Edited to add: September 17th ~ After 3 days of pondering, lol, I have added the following info to my 2nd Facebook account.
I have created a new page for my public posts and I no longer accept friend requests on this account if I have no prior association with you. Aside from a couple of status updates, this account is now private. Please don’t take it personally if your request is not accepted. I will also turn off the “Follow” function in the very near future so I invite you to stay in contact via my “Topaz Drachen” page at https://www.facebook.com/TopazDrachenDragonDreaming where you can follow updates on my “Dragon Dreaming” website/blog as well as posts about any other Dragon and Draconic Paganism related topics and events. Thank you for understanding. 🙂
September 20th ~ The “Follow” function for public posts on my personal FB profile has now been turned off. The only public posts on my page (meaning they can be seen by anyone, “Friend” or not) are those relating to the changes made, and links to my new public page, and of course my latest profile image and cover image. That’s it! I’ll be keeping my current friends list, even though I don’t really know the majority of the people there, but I figure that a lot of the people I do know a lot better now were strangers once too, so I’ll see how things go for a while longer before deciding when or if I’ll delete anybody. 🙂