My Life on Facebook

This is not KDE related, so maybe you want to skip it…

Facebook has had a download feature for a while and I decided to have a play with it (not that I’ve put valuable stuff on Facebook without also having it elsewhere, but really just to get a snapshot of what I had uploaded).

I used Wordle to generate word clouds from my wall posts, private messages, friend list and profile itself (which includes things like favourite quotes). The results are quite illuminating for just how banal most of it is.

Wall Posts

An image of words occurring in my Facebook wall posts

Words from my Facebook wall posts

It seems that I and my friends quite like the word “good” 😉 Otherwise, a few of the names that are highlighted are quite surprising as I would not think of them as prolific posters on my wall.

So there is nothing really at all interesting in that text, but I’ve always seen the wall as a very public place so that is not too surprising.

Private Messages

Image showing words from my private messages on Facebook

Words from my private messages on Facebook

Private messages are, of course, Facebook’s answer to email. The disadvantage being that you can only use it like webmail (well, support is coming in Kontact), can only use it with other Facebook users and – under original T&Cs at least – give Facebook a licence to publish anything of it they like.

So when someone messages me on Facebook, I generally reply by email…

The dominant word here is “curry”, reflecting the main use my friends and I have for Facebook messaging – organising regular curry nights among colleagues at the university where I work.

Friend List

Image showing the names of my Facebook friends

My Facebook friends

The Facebook friends Wordle also shows a few things both predictable and not – bigger text indicates that I have more friends with these names, not that I have more interaction with those people.

I know that I know a lot of people called Chris, but I did not know that I had so many Davids, Annas and Helens among my friends. Smith and Jones are both common family names in the UK – Jones particularly in Wales where I worked for three years – so it is no big surprise to see that they are large.


Image of words from my Facebook profile

Words from my Facebook profile

I guess this one is the most personal as it contains mostly things that I have chosen to add to my profile and broadcast to the world.

So we have “KDE” quite prominently. Also “Southampton” (my current home town); my school, “Hylands”; my birth town, “Chelmsford”; my university, “Warwick”; my current workplace, “NOCS” (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton). The slightly odd one, “Crunch-CRUNCH”, is from one of my quotes – an advert taken from Craigslist that refers to an unfortunate incident involving a turtle (strong language and turtle death) and references a favourite breakfast cereal of mine, Grape Nuts.

Bored Yet?

So, there you have it – my life on Facebook. Do we really need these social networks so much?

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