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That Great Photo of You on Your Friend's FB Page Could Disappear

by Keith Gatling | 4 years ago

Nine years ago, I worked somewhere else. Yes, I actually had a life before LPL...several of them, for that matter. Anyway, nine years ago, I worked somewhere else, and the place where I worked had a company picnic that I took my then nine-year-old daughter to.

A lot of pictures were taken that day, and posted on Facebook, including several of my daughter and her relatively long mane of hair. It’s not any longer than it is now, but she was much shorter then, and it was longer in comparison to her height.

We were talking about those pictures a week or two ago, and the fact that her hair is still the same length, but she’s taller; and decided to check them out.

Hmm...they weren’t in my collection of photos from 2011. That was odd. No problem...I’d just go to Facebook and look for photos of myself. Why myself? Because the coworker who took the photos had tagged me so I could see them. Heck, my young daughter didn't have a Facebook account.

So I got on Facebook, went to Photos, looked at the section for photos of myself, and found lots of photos of myself, but none from that picnic...and none of my daughter.


No problem, I figured I’d go directly to my former coworker’s Facebook page. When I typed in her name, rather than seeing her pop right up, I got a list of people with the same name, but who weren’t her.


So now I decided to try a foolproof method. I went to my friends list, so I could click on her directly, go to her page, and get access to those pictures. But when I got to her name in my friends list, it said “Account Deactivated.”

Darn. Actually, that’s not what I said, but this is a family column.

She didn’t exist anymore on Facebook, so I couldn’t look at those photos.

And that was a lesson for that I’ll share with the rest of you so that you don’t have to suffer the same disappointment.

The lesson is that when you see a great picture on Facebook that someone has taken of you, a family member, or anyone or anything at all, don’t count on it always being there to look at. Even if it shows up in your own photos because you’ve been tagged in it, don’t count on it always being there. Because the person who took the picture could unfriend you or disappear from Facebook altogether, breaking the connection between you and that photo.

So then what should you do? Something so painfully obvious that I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. You should immediately download and save that photo to your device, be it a computer, a tablet, or a phone. Then you’ll always have a copy of it to look at, no matter what happens to that other person's Facebook account.

It’s kind of ironic that I found myself in this position because this is the very same reason why I buy and download my music rather than counting on being able to stream it all for a low monthly fee...there’s no guarantee that my favorite piece of music won’t be unavailable tomorrow because of changes in the recording industry. I’m so careful about that, but didn’t apply the same line of thought to photos other people took that I was essentially “streaming” from them.

Ah...but as the old saying goes, “once burned, twice shy”, or to paraphrase The Who, “I won’t be fooled again.” And neither should you. Download those great pictures of yourself from someone else’s Facebook account before they disappear!