Today I discovered the danger of changing my Facebook profile.
My fiancee and I decided that showing our engagement in Facebook gave out a little too much personal information.
But I did not realize that unchecking “Thomas Crampton is engaged to Thuy-Tien Tran” would send a message to every Facebook friend that “Thomas Crampton and Thuy-Tien Tran are no longer engaged”.
A little broken heart accompanied the message in our newsfeed, for added emotion.
Within minutes an email arrived from a friend in San Francisco asking if I was doing ok and offering emotional support at this trying time.
A friend who has the number one blog in France, Loic Le Meur, posted the news on his Twitter feed, which has nearly 1,000 readers. Friends (and people we don’t even know) started discussing the situation without us knowing about it.
Suddenly I found myself explaining to people spanning nine timezones that we are, in fact, still engaged.
Then it occurred to me: Solve a Facebook problem with a Facebook solution.
I updated my Facebook status to read:
Thomas Crampton is still getting married, but decided to reduce personal info on facebook. Did not expect people to react thinking the ceremony was cancelled!!
Everyone linked to me in Facebook received the message and anyone visiting my profile can see it.
This blog posting should solve the problem, but so much for the privacy we sought!
Update: A very strange new twist has made this much more public than I ever feared. Boing Boing, the top blog on the Internet, Time Magazine’s blog, the London Standard, Libération the French newspaper founded by Jean-Paul Sartre, Fast Company have now all mentioned our experience. Is this the 21st century equivalent of a printed wedding announcement?
Update 2: Two very Amusing anti-Facebook videos.