Facebook Is Destroying The Closet

Joshua Alston makes the case:

Social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter simply don't allow for compartmentalization. A buddy once told me that his gay friends and his straight friends are like light and dark liquorideally, they shouldn't be mixed. But social networking forces you to shuffle your decks; friends, family, drunken hookups, and co-workers all get equal treatmentequal weight in a news feed or stream. Presenting a partial portrait of who you are becomes tricky.

That's not to say staying in the closet on Facebook can't be done. It's possible, as long as you're willing to work it like a full-time job.

Keeping an eagle eye on tagged photos, pushing Facebook's customizable privacy options to their capacity, swooping in to delete unapproved comments and wall posts, refraining from posting the new Beyoncé video even though it's so fabulousall in a day's work. But whereas in the recent past, being in the closet wasn't that much work once you were out of your parents' house, now it requires real effort. Closeted people can't just watch their own behavior anymore: they have to monitor and somehow orchestrate the behavior of others, 24 hours a day, in real time.

Even if you can manage that, you still have to look out for Project Gaydar.