Social networks have become a necessary evil. Like mobile phones, we just can’t do without them, but there are all kinds of things we haven’t considered about their effect on people. Social networks have ushered in a whole new slew of unintended consequences.
We realize Facebook is the biggest, most obvious target, and there are a lot of other social networks out there, but given that Facebook has around 1.49 billion active users, we feel it’s obviously the most important one. Regardless, much of what we’ll tell you today can be applied to other social media platforms as well, especially quitting or deleting profiles.
Deactivating Your AccountSadly for some, this may not work, and if your goal is to simply break the Facebook habit, then deactivating your account, at least for a time, can really help you get your priorities straightened out.
To deactivate your account, first open the “Settings” from your user menu.
Click on “Security” and then “Deactivate Your Account”, which is located at the very bottom.
There’s no difference between doing this on the website or a mobile app, such as here with the Facebook for Android app.
Facebook requires you supply a reason for leaving; you can give them any excuse you want.
Additionally, whatever excuse you give them will be countered by an attempt to try to get you to stay. Simply click the “Close” button on any window that pops up.
To deactivate your account, you will need to enter your password and click the “Deactivate Now” button.
Once deactivated, you will be logged out and your account will no longer be available to any of your friends. You can easily reactivate your account at any time by logging back in.
That said, if you’re really serious about taking time off, then you need to perform other actions as well. We recommend clearing your browser history and even removing your login credentials from your password manager (if you keep them stored). Doing so will be a subtle reminder, akin to a light slap on the hand, that you’re taking time off.
Delete Your Account PermanentlyIf for whatever reason you decide that you simply do not want to be on Facebook anymore, then you can completely delete your account. This is different from deactivation, which temporarily (or permanently, if you don’t go back) suspends your account.
Deleting your account does just what you think it does – your account is erased, though parts of you may remain as comments and sent messages. Everything else that you ever posted, any pictures, videos, or other items will be forever and irrevocably be gone.
Download Your DataBefore you proceed with the nuclear option, however, it is highly recommended that you download a copy of your Facebook data. When you do this, all your photos, posts, messages, and so on, will be archived and you will be sent a link from which you can download, and then store it somewhere else safely.
To download your Facebook data, first go to the account settings as detailed earlier and from the “General Account Settings” click on the link at the very bottom that says “download a copy of your Facebook data”.
Facebook doesn’t provide a simple link in your settings to delete your account, instead you will need to go to www.facebook.com/help/delete_account to get the process started.
You’re urged to take account deletion seriously because it is permanent. Once your account is gone, there’s no going back.