Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Leaving Facebook

Well, I've done it. I've officially removed my presence from Facebook. I took the big plunge last  night and deleted my Facebook account. Not deactivated, deleted.

In doing so, I've discovered that Facebook is the best heroin on the planet, and Mark Zuckerberg is quite possibly the most manipulative dealer of the good stuff. Seriously.

Did you know that it's nearly impossible to delete your Facebook account? Oh, sure, you can go into settings and deactivate your account, no problem. Know what that does? Leads you to a Guilt Page where you'll see pictures of your friends and a message of "but we'll miss you sooo much!". If you decide to take the plunge, your account still stays there, waiting in limbo for you to realize your insanity and run back. If you haven't remembered to turn off your notifications, Facebook will continue to send you reminder emails and text messages about your friend's updates and events. Not...very...'deactivated'...huh?

No, in order to delete your account, you actually have to search the servers for the proper link, then swear you mean it, then confirm by email, then there's a 14 day waiting period. (What the heck, I'm leaving a social network site, not buying a gun!). If, after 14 days, you haven't caved to the addiction and logged in, they'll delete your page.

No. Really. You can't just quit.

And THEN, thanks to the Terms of Service that we all so blindly clicked, they have to delete your current page, but THEY ARE ALLOWED TO KEEP BACKUP COPIES ON THEIR SERVERS! You know. For future tracking and marketing purposes of age, gender, employment history, contact information, education history...and considering how noble and ethical Facebook has been with their privacy up to this point, what do you think the odds are that they're going to protect that data? Ask yourself this: If they didn't want your data for some reason, then why did they go to all the trouble of writing it into the terms of service?

But you know how I REALLY know that Facebook is heroin?

Because as I sat there with my finger over the button, I kept hearing all of these little voices in my head.
"But all of my family is there!"
"But how am I supposed to network with my coworkers?"
"But I have so many photos there!"
"How is anyone supposed to get ahold of me?"
"What if everyone gets mad at me, because they think I've unfollowed them, not deleted my page?"

And with every passing voice, the ability to delete got harder and harder.

Then I thought, what the hell is wrong with me? Since when did this social network site become the only way to reach me? If my family wants to talk to me, they can pick up the phone. My coworkers, lets face it, focus more on the social and less on the networking, and I'm quite frankly tired of seeing their drunk asses dancing on tables, then lecturing me about professionalism at work. Photos are transferrable. I actually used Picasa to import all of my albums and photos directly from FB. And I have an email address, twitter account, phone, and Google account, if anyone really needs to get ahold of me.

Here's how I know I'm a true addict:

I cannot bring myself to delete a second, small, carefully guarded account. My actual name/face/real info account is long gone, deleted last night and existing only in the shadow's of  Zuckerberg's servers. My fake name/face/false info/unsearchable account? I can't delete. I'm too scared to delete it. I can't quit everything cold turkey.

Maybe this one small fake account with it's barely-into-double-digits friend's list is my version of methadone; the way to wean off the Big Bad with minimal impact. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself and continuing to feed my addiction on a much smaller scale.

Facebook, WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU!?!

Here's some more reading, if you're interested:
How to Delete your Facebook
10 Reasons to Delete your Facebook
More Reasons you Should Still Quit Facebook
Facebook Tracks and Traces Everyone: Like This!


  1. Good for you! I just can't do it. Too many family members depend on LMW updates. But I've started getting on less and less (or fewer and fewer? that doesn't sound right) and honestly miss a bunch of stuff since I'm not checking it every 10 seconds. Oh, well. Like you said, if people want to get a hold of me, they know where to find me.

  2. Funny I just had a friend on g+ discuss the merits of deleting his Facebook and moving to g+ only. I assume i'll leave Facebook for the far-flung family (who i don't really need/want regular phone calls from) I am planning to really whittle down my friends list when we move to denver...

  3. I am hardly ever on Facebook but maybe once or twice a day. I've really been thinking about pruning down the friends list, too. But yay! I actually went to check if your faceless account was still up. Haha.

  4. http://www.wikihow.com/Permanently-Delete-a-Facebook-Account you know about this right? If your foursquare, get glue, networked blog etc accesses your Facebook it restarts that 14 day waiting period before deleting the account.

  5. Le - Thanks! Yes, if I had a kiddo, I'd be posting baby pics right and left to all my friends and family. But, since I have no bundle of sweetness, and my friends are tired of seeing pics of my doggies and kitties, I think I'm good. :D

    Hannah - Yep, I did see that. It was a pain in the booty to re register on every site that had my facebook linked as login - they're everywhere! Now I have them linked to my methadone-faceless account that I can't delete...yet.

    Kyrstin - Faceless is still there, for now. I'm working up the courage to delete, and trying to convince a few people that yes, they CAN reach me in other ways!

  6. so proud of you! it feels AWESOME once you leave for good. for reals. it's actually like overcoming an addiction. husband and i left last winter-- i never looked back, but he's back on. sad face.

    now, i much prefer writing cards (by HAND!) and mailing them (with STAMPS!) to people who are important to me. it's such a blessed surprise when it arrives in the mailbox, unexpected, and i know they appreciate that more than a "poke" on facebook.


I love comments!