For some, the idea of not browsing Facebook several times a day and updating your profile whenever something happens is horrifying. For others, it is something that has been a long time coming. If you find yourself as one of the latter and want to leave the always-on connected world behind, here is how to permanently delete your Facebook account.
Unplugging from Facebook
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a giant of our times with over 1.5 billion users and millions of images, videos and profile updates every single day. It has made itself an integral part of our lives but not everyone is comfortable with that.
Whether you believe that Facebook was allegedly involved in the Prism program or whether it used tracking software to follow users around Europe, are bored of seeing cat videos or have had enough of fake news, there comes a time when all you want is a little peace and quiet. Even temporarily.
If that sounds like you, there are two options. You can deactivate your Facebook account or delete your Facebook account. Deactivating just sends it to sleep until you’re ready for more cat videos. Deleting removes it forever.
Deactivate your Facebook account
If you deactivate your Facebook account, you can reactivate it at another time. Facebook keeps your files, your profile and everything to do with your account until you are ready. Here’s how to deactivate your Facebook account.
- Open Facebook, select the down arrow in the top menu and select Settings.
- Select General from the left menu and Edit next to Manage your account.
- Select the Download a copy of your Facebook data text link at the very bottom.
- Select Deactivate your account and follow the wizard.
Facebook does keep your data intact but if you have uploaded lots of images or have been tagged in some you don’t want to lose, it pays to have a backup. When you select Download a copy of your Facebook data, you create an archive that you can download onto your computer that includes images, videos, chats, messages and other things you shared online.
Reactivate your Facebook account
If you find that you really cannot live without your Facebook account, you can reactivate it. It only takes a few seconds and will have you up and running again in no time. All you need to do is visit Facebook and log in. Your account will automatically be reactivated, your status restored and people will be able to see you online once more.
Delete your Facebook account
Deleting your Facebook account is more serious. It is a great leap forward in terms of personal freedom but it does mean you lose everything it offers. First, you should download a copy of all your images, videos and stuff you shared.
- Open Facebook and select the down arrow in the top menu and select Settings.
- Select General from the left menu and Edit next to Manage account.
- Select the Download a copy of your Facebook data text link at the bottom and follow the archive wizard.
- Follow this link to request deletion of your Facebook account and follow the deletion wizard.
It can take up to 90 days to completely delete your Facebook account. In that time, your account will gradually be deleted. That will include your profile, any images you uploaded, chats, messages, status updates and everything you personally uploaded. It will not include images you are tagged in that were posted by others or their messages or updates that mention you.
Unplugging from social media
There is a growing movement across the world right now that is pulling back from social media and from oversharing in general. Even before Trump began taking over Twitter, people were already pulling away from social media and from being connected to the internet 24/7. While definitely in the minority, they are growing in number and in volume. This blog extolls the scientific virtues of unplugging while this blog has a more cynical view of why it’s a good idea to remove yourself a little from social media.
Regardless of why or how long you want to deactivate or delete your Facebook account, there is no doubt that time away from the internet is a good thing. If nothing more than to give you time to do something interesting and worth talking about. At least now you know how to do it and what the ramifications of such an action will be.
Have you withdrawn from Facebook? Miss it? Did you cave and go back? After how long? Tell us about your experience below!