A friend of mine recently told me he was 'done with Facebook'. Naturally, I asked him why. He said that old "acquaintances" were coming out of the woodwork, and while it was great that his wife was (and still is) a Facebook member, he was uncomfortable seeing scrawlings on his wall from partners from days gone by. Clearly, he didn't want to deal with the potential problem of the 'crazy ex-girlfriend'.
He also lamented the fact that it became a way for friends and acquaintances to shoot cheeky responses around at each other. Now if you combine this with his demographic (mid to late 20's - very recently married - but very much a guys night out type of guy) you can safely assume the banter back and forth was not always G-rated (but probably quite fun.)
We soon got around to discussing the things people do and write on the web. And that while it might be fun to post outrageous things on someone's "Wall", you can't really count on being able to take them back. And further, you can't count on something you write (anywhere on the net) being really deleted or somehow disappearing into the ether after a year or two.
Now this guy is not that tech-saavy - doesn't blog, frequents YouTube but not Digg - you get the picture. So I thought it'd be fun to show him the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine. Needless to say he was amazed that so much of what has (and is) going on on the net is being archived and captured.
I have a feeling that most people in the mainstream who are now just starting to generate and publish (however inadvertently) things on the net, don't really get the potential permanence of it.
As I've said several times before, be proud of what you write (or at least not embarrassed) and you'll do fine. If you don't, you'll never know when it might come back and bite you.
ps - While I have never found Facebook very compelling, my interest in it is declining even further day by day. But then again, so is my interest in Twitter. But that's another story, for another post.