Did you know that you can download your Facebook online life? I did it it recently and it was revelatory just how much I have put there since I started using the service five years ago.
Why would you want to do it? Well, it's yours. Having a copy of your information (from Facebook or any other web service) is part of controlling what you share. It may be a good backup for photos (especially mobile uploads) and things you haven't saved in other places. It's also a little time capsule of part of your online life. It might surprise or even disturb you to realize how much you have shared with the world. If you're considering purging your account of some things (maybe you just graduated and are wondering about potential employers finding things there), you should archive it. Same thing if you're considering deleting your account entirely.
How do you download your information from Facebook? To begin this process, go to your Account Settings page, then click the "learn more" link beside "Download Your Information." From there, click the "Download" button.
Your file will be pretty thorough and include the following information organized into folders: Your profile information (contact information, interests, groups) Wall posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account Your friend list Notes you have created Events to which you have RSVP’d Your sent and received messages Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall posts, photos, and other profile content
This is sensitive material and Facebook asks for authentication to confirm your identity before you can complete the download process. They will send an email to the email listed on your Facebook account to confirm that you initiated the process. Once you receive the email, you will have to re-enter your password and if you are using a public computer or one you do not use regularly. You may also have to solve a friend photo captcha (those jumbled letter images) or an SMS captcha via your mobile phone.
I recommend you do this for all of the reasons mentioned. I find it encouraging that the walled garden of Facebook has opened up to allow you to do this.