Bye Bye, Facebook.

Today I “Deactivated” my Facebook account. I wanted to delete it but apparently that’s not really an option over there. So, yeah. Deactivated. Let me begin by stating that I am by no means someone who holds back when it comes to sharing personal information on the Web. (How old is this website?) But I do like having control over it to some degree and I definitely don’t want that guy seeing what sites I visit. The more I read about Facebook’s evolving privacy policies, the more it puts me off. (See this article or this one. Hell, there are hundreds of them out there. Pick one.)

So: I’m gone. But not after putting myself through a great deal of inner turmoil questioning whether I would cease to exist just by canceling my account on the 3rd most popular website in the entire world. This was a HUGE decision, right? I mean, would I miss seeing that plant you harvested yesterday? Would I miss the quizzes clueing me into the intimacies of 400 of your favorite things?

Would I cease to exist if I could no longer post pictures of my cat. Would he? OMG! NO NO! NOT MURRAY!

And, yes, I realize that this qualifies as what one might refer to as a “First World Problem” but I can’t buy milk without putting myself through inner turmoil of some sort. I’m not kidding. I question everything.

In all seriousness, I really enjoyed getting back in touch with people. Facebook brought me a great deal of laugh-out-loud moments over the years because—I’ll be honest with you—I know the greatest, most hilarious people. I definitely have the 3rd most funniest group of friends in the entire world. (Take that, Facebook!) Plus, my entire extended family is on there (with the exception of my mother and older brother—who were wise for not ever getting sucked in) and they are all crazy—but in a very, very good way.

But I went there. I had to. It was time. I went there and I hit “My Account” and I hit “Deactivate My Account” and then this happened:

“Are you sure you want to deactivate your account? Ben will miss you. Gerry will miss you. Heather will miss you! Amy is VERY disappointed in you and she’s documenting the whole thing. AND ERIC HAS TURNED INTO A DOG!”

All 159 of my friends “will no longer be able to keep in touch with” me, because apparently Facebook has removed the ability to use phones, email, mailboxes, planes, trains, and automobiles—correspondence as we know it is no longer. (I’m just now realizing that there’s a great deal of truth to that statement, but that’s a story for another day.)

I kept going. I wrote a little something about privacy or lack thereof and then I stopped. Was I sure? Was I really, really sure?

Oh, the humanity.

But I did it. I hit “Deactivate My Account”.

Then a “Security Check” window popped up making sure I was actually human. It read:

Don’t mind if I do, Facebook. Don’t mind if I do.


  1. Heather WILL miss you. But she knows where to find you.


  2. You need to delete, otherwise your “deactivated” account is some BS version of “not active”. Also, the second you log back in for whatever reason, it springs to life again, as if you’ve never left.


  3. Good for you!

    I never signed up for Facebook partly because I really worried about the fact that they reserve the right to own all your stuff once it’s on there, and that is some serious bullshit.

    Nothing is free, people, and now Facebook is selling every single nugget of your shared info to the highest bidder. Madness.


  4. Haha! Have some boozers indeed!


  5. Good for you. I’ve been keeping a low profile for the last month, but am considering logging off for good, too. I worry about missing out on pictures and stories, though. Or missing get-together invitations. I hate that people don’t use email or the phone anymore. *sigh*


  6. You can actually delete your account, but once you pull the trigger you can’t go back. Well, you have a 14 day window to go back. One of my friends deleted their account and I couldn’t even invite them to an event that I created on FB. It kept on rejecting their email.

    Here is the link if you are happy with a FB free world. I am on the brink, but I find the organizations I am friends with post useful information, and I don’t know where I can get an alternative to that. Stupid, popular, FB.

    The article I got this from is here.


  7. I am deleting mine. If you deactivate, all your info is still out there for the creeps at FB to use. You *can* delete, it just takes a lot of clicks!


  8. AH! You guys rock. I wrote this before realizing deleting was possible. Much thanks.


  9. I’m very seriously considering doing this, too. I always forget to login anyway.


  10. Facebook is not very common in Brazil. Instead, we have Orkut and everyone is in there. I assume it works just the same way it does Facebook and it’s been a looooong time I don’t log in there.

    There’s some sad truth to all of this. I hate the fact people call less and less through the phone/cellphone and some barely use their e-mails anymore. It’s as if you stop logging to your account, you sort of stop existing for a moment. They all say “because it’s much easier to contact through there” but is it? How hard is it to make a phone call? Or write an e-mail? I feel like Facebook/Orkut (and other websites like those) is so helping us, as individuals, lose true bonding with our friends.

    To be honest, that’s one of the reasons why I came up with the Exchange Cultural idea. Internet has barriers, and I get that. But it was a nice way to put down borders and get more personal in reality with each other. Also, fun as hell.



  11. I’m embarrassed to admit that I just got the SOOTTAD sucked into Facebook — I found it particularly helpful in the dance community where it makes it so much easier to map names and faces for people you see semi-regularly but not often enough to reinforce, and, well, when you happen to be really bad at remembering names.

    I hate that it’s come to this, but it feels a lot like the way Microsoft products kind of took over — if you want to see people’s pictures, you have to join FB because that’s where everyone (else) posts them.

    I mitigate by minimizing the info I provided to FB and refuse to use applications or allow 3rd party sites to use the info.

    Any other alternatives? Maybe we should start a website that allows you to roll your own networks and level of sharing. But then, could you fund it?


  12. I hear you. I try to keep up with their “privacy” policy. I haven’t decided what to do just yet.

    If everyone deactivated then Facebook would be forced to play fair, but I doubt a mass deactivation would ever happen.


  13. I am seriously annoyed with FB and keep thinking that each new change will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, leading to deletion. But I can’t pull the trigger. I hate being forced to link to things if I want my basic info (education/work) to show. It is a nice tool for keeping up with lots and lots of people, but the privacy issues and the repeated changes will eventually lead me to delete my account.


  14. Thanks for posting this, because it propels me this much closer to closing down my own account. I started by deleting most of my pictures and un-tagging myself from the rest. Then I had a major purge of my friends. Now with the Connections stuff, I forced to unlink all my interests. If it wasn’t for my international family, I would have never created an account. Gah!


  15. There must be something in the water, because I am about to delete my account as well. There are a few people from whom I need to get current e-mail addresses, and then it’s over. I have been delighted by the ability to get in touch with people I’d lost track of, but the truth is that without FB I’d just have to try a little harder, and maybe that’s better anyway.

    The privacy issues are what ruined it once and for all for me, but I’ll admit to wanting to leave long before that anyway. For me, it’s just too much, you know? Too many people I don’t know wanting to “friend” me, too much information about everyone and everything, too many people seeing something on my profile and deciding that I’m in league with Satan (I kid you not–someone actually said that to me). I guess I’ve known for a long time that it was time to go, but I needed that final nail in the FB coffin.


  16. Here I “deactivated” my account like three or four years ago. Just logged back in and everything reappeared (CREEPY!!!). So I now *deleted* it. Thanks for the link!


  17. I just wanted to chip in & ditto the guys above – you can delete your account – the deactivation wll just reactivate the moment that you log back in.

    See “10 reasons to delete your facebook account” (business insider – via google reader)


  18. Good for you. I’ve ‘blocked’ so many people on my account – so what is the use right? I’ve just realized there are so much of these new ‘friends’ that really annoy me, but there are also so many old friends that I’ve found again. With all these ‘social networks’ people have become really ‘unsocial’. They can’t speak or write properly anymore. No one calls or speak face to face anymore. You will survive without it I’m sure.


  19. Vicky: AWESOME link. Thanks! That should be posted everywhere, particularly on Facebook. :]

    TallAsianGuy: Totally agree about the Microsoft thing. You can’t even export your contacts from there. They won’t let you. That to me tells me they want everyone all to themselves.

    They’re really a shady company—terrible. I hate that I was/am giving them my money somehow. The douchebag behind Farmville makes like 500 million a month or something. Oh well. I can’t sway the masses to leave with me—I know this. But I do think that people should know exactly who they’re making rich and how much of their personal information is going to no longer be their own.



  20. I’m at the tail end of an MBA program and was lamenting the lag between last class and gradation (over 2 months!). I jokingly asked how I would know if anyone did anything exciting if I didn’t see them anymore. Their answer: Facebook.


    Of course this was said to me in jest because I always tease them about using FB in class. (I’m not on it)

    Think I just might send them all that link…


    1. You should! And congrats on the graduation, etc.

      You’re also wise not to be on it, imo. :]


  21. This is awesome. This is one of my favorite posts by you, ever. You are a funny funny girl.


  22. p.s. Just the other day I posted a youtube link of that cute little kid who plays the ukulele like nobody’s business, and lo and behold – in a few hours I was getting advertisements for ukulele websites on the sidebar. It freaked me out – it really did feel like someone was watching me. I mean, I knew they drew from my lists of interests and so forth, but hadn’t realized they also could cull information about me from links I posted, etc.

    and ANOTHER thing. I really, really got sick of FB tattle-taling on me everytime I posted a comment on somebody’s wall or clicked the “like” button. I really don’t consider it newsworthy that Teddi likes someone’s photo. And because it irritates me and because I don’t like other people to be able to link to a friend’s page without their knowing simply by way of me commenting on (or “liking”) something, I end up spending way too much time deleting my every action on the news feed.

    It seems like the fun has really run amok. I wonder if there will slowly be a revolution in the opposite direction – could there ever be?

    Just typing aloud here. I think Betty White nailed it when she said: “I really have to thank Facebook … I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”

    Now if I could only be so brave as to hit “deactivate” as well.


  23. Good for you! I made that same decision 1year ago and it was a great decision. Although I wish they would stop telling me my friends miss me.


  24. Where forth are thou Mihow? Miss your blog lately :)


  25. I extra love the part where Facebook assumes that without your account, without Amy and heather and Eric the dog’s status updates in your life, you might as well just drink yourself stupid.
    Pfft! Like you need an excuse, honestly.. I’ve spent enough lonely nights having boozers while stalking my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s brother’s fiance’s sister’s new boyfriend’s… er.. si.. wait.. whatever.


  26. The privacy issues are what ruined it once and for all for me, but I’ll admit to wanting to leave long before that anyway. For me, it’s just too much, you know? Too many people I don’t know wanting to “friend” me, too much information about everyone and everything, too many people seeing something on my profile and deciding that I’m in league with Satan (I kid you not–someone actually said that to me). I guess I’ve known for a long time that it was time to go, but I needed that final nail in the FB coffin.


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