I joined Facebook about ten years ago, and I’ve used it daily since then. But I’m a little embarrassed by my really old posts.
When I first signed up, I was 16, in high school, and incredibly grumpy. Most of my posts from back then say things like, “Harry Guinness is depressed” or simply, “ugggghhhhh”.
Over the years, what I posted to Facebook changed. From 18 to 24 I was in college and a lot happier. I was no longer posting angsty statuses but my Timeline is… incriminating.
Now Facebook is a weird place where I connect with everyone I know. I’m friends with my editors (Hey Whitson!), childhood friends, random people I’ve met travelling, family members, my best mate’s mother, and pretty much anyone else who’s entered my life in the last decade. They really don’t need to be able to see stuff that emo-Harry or party-Harry posted years ago.
If you’re serious about cleaning up your online image, you can go in and spend hours upon hours getting rid of every dodgy post. But, if you’re in no rush to fix things, I’ve found an easier solution: use Facebook’s “On This Day” feature to do a quick profile audit every day.
How “On This Day” Works
Earlier this year, Facebook introduced On This Day. It’s a cool feature that shows you memories from Facebook for that particular day in your past. So on November 20th, 2016, On This Day will show you posts, anything a friend shared on your Timeline (or Wall), photos and posts you’re tagged in, who you became friends with on that day, and major life events from November 20th in previous years. Basically, if it’s on your Timeline, it appears in On This Day.
While I started using On This Day just for the nostalgia kick, I quickly realized that I could use it to vet old posts on profile. Now, every day, I check out what I’ve posted over the years and delete anything embarrassing. It will take me a year to finish the audit, but it only takes a few seconds each day, and a year from now, I’ll have a clean, embarrassing-free profile.
Note: you could just limit the privacy of all your past posts if you want an easier solution. But I like some of my older posts and want to keep them around, so this is a more discerning way to clean up your timeline.
How to Perform Your Daily Facebook Audit
Head to the Facebook On This Day page. You can find it under Apps in the left-hand sidebar of your Newsfeed.
In On This Day, you’ll see everything that appears on your Timeline for that day in history. Scroll through and make sure there’s nothing you wouldn’t want your boss (or mom or future partner) to see.
If you want to delete something, click on the little arrow in the top right corner and select Delete.
You can also access On This Day from the mobile apps. Select the Options tab and then choose On This Day. Tap the arrow and select Delete to remove any posts you don’t like.
Facebook is getting old. Most people who were in college when it started are now in their 30s. No one wants to have drunk photos from a house party in 2008 resurface. By spending 30 seconds each day, you can slowly clean your Facebook history with almost no effort.