As Facebook has become more hegemonic, about a quarter of its users have started crafting fake personae, fudging some personal details on the social network in order to, they say, protect their privacy and data, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.
But, Facebookers can only get so far as they tweak personal details. Unless you're planning on pulling a Catfish, creating a totally made up person, with a totally made up email address, using totally made up photos -- that's what Angela Wesselman-Pierce did per the documentary about her family of made-up Facebook personae -- there are only so many lies Facebook will let you get away with. As you'll see below, one can almost be a totally different human on Facebook than in real life. But, one can never escape their true selves, with the few details Facebook does not allow its users to fudge.
Stuff You Can Get Away With Lying About on Facebook
- Photo. A good starting point for someone trying to create a fake self, as what we look like feels like a very personal detail. One can have a picture of a unicorn as their visual representation to the world, if they so choose.
- Birthday. For the under 21 or over 35 set, this comes in handy as Facebook doesn't make users enter a birth-year. But, if someone wants to find out who their real friends are, they might think it a funny joke to put a totally fake-date down and see what wall-writers and message senders wish them a happy birthday on the totally wrong day.
- Languages. Faking this is just a flat out lie, but maybe someone might do it to impress someone, maybe while applying for a job. Or, everything on the Internet has potential for irony.
- Interests. See above.
- About You. Making this up this makes for good jokes.
- Website. Again, good for jokes.
- Current City/Hometown. Considering all the location tracking happening these days, this is kind of fun to lie about. It really feels like you're getting away with something.
- Work. This feels a little icky, like lying on one's résumé.
- Education. See above. (Though, someone somewhere might appreciate a Hogwarts joke.)
- Religious Views. Again, irony plays well here.
- Political Views. And here, too.