I just downloaded my Facebook archive. According to Facebook I joined Monday, April 27, 2009 at 10:54am EDT. Today is my last day. My only hesitation with deleting my account is replacing the events feature. I'm thinking I can just use email calendar invites but it definitely won't be the same. I'm also going to miss the meme pages but besides that I've come to rely on Facebook less lately. In college it was useful for creating large events and creating small private pages with friends. Now that I'm in a new city I can probably figure out new ways of connecting with people.
Facebook was one of the only places online where my real life was the most visible. Besides LinkedIn it's the only social media account where my profile picture is a picture of me. It's where I post all of my pictures. All of my life updates. Way back before Facebook you normally didn't post all of those things online and that's the way most of my other social media accounts work. Everywhere else there is a small gap between the online me and the real life me.
In the last few years Facebook has become less real time updates from friends and more algorithmically picked statuses and ads. I basically only see updates from 20-40 people on any given week. And as we all know we usually only see the "highlight reel" from other people's lives. We know that this isn't healthy for self-esteem. But I've never really thought about deleting my account until now because I've made myself believe that I've needed it.
I don't think everyone can delete their account. Facebook is hard to replace. But I think that most people regard Facebook as a necessary evil. They would get rid of it if there was a good alternative but right now there isn't. I think I'm ready to find the alternatives though, it may not be easy but I'll feel better about it in the end.
As for my other social media I'm still going to use Facebook Messenger (you can have an account with just a phone number) and Instagram for now. I still use Twitter, I created a Mastadon account about two weeks ago (https://mastodon.social/@golf1052). I still have a phone number, I still have an email address, I still have a postal address. Recently I've been trying to be more proactive about staying in touch with people, Facebook is the exact opposite of being proactive. If you want to find me my contact info is on my website, if I want to find you
I know some people in high places I probably already have your contact info.
But also fuck Mark Zuckerberg.
Update: How to use Facebook Messenger after deleting your Facebook account
Note that you're going to lose all your Messenger history. This is because using a phone number with Messenger will not link back to your old Facebook account.
- Open Messenger on your phone, if you aren't logged out already the app should log you out.
- Choose the option "I don't have a Facebook account"
- Enter your phone number
- The app will prompt you to use your Facebook account
- Resist the urge to log back into Facebook, instead press "I'm Somebody Else"
- Enter your name
- Now you should be logged into Messenger, note that it didn't pull in any of your old messages, this is because you created a new Messenger account.