Removing yourself from Facebook altogether may sound appealing, until you run into problems like account integration and losing certain contacts. If you don’t know how to handle these issues, they make becoming independent from Facebook no easy task.
However, just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send Facebook packing. There’s more than one good reason to trash Facebook. One possible reason is due to the amount of information the social media giant stores about you. While you can see what data they save and opt out of having this data stored, some people find it inconvenient and just want to get off the platform all together.
It has also been noted in multiple medical studies that Facebook addiction is a very real problem. You should always practice a healthy social media diet, but for some, quitting the app cold turkey and getting rid of the app altogether is the best way to go. People have also stated that their quality of life improved after deleting Facebook.
However, depending on how long you’ve had a Facebook account, it may be easier said than done to get rid of it. Here are some things you’ll want to do before you say that final goodbye.
Download or transfer your data
The biggest hurdle to leaving Facebook might be all the information you’re afraid of losing. The good news is that you don’t actually have to lose it. You can download your Facebook data, including posts, photos, videos, and more, to your personal device or external hard drive, or you can transfer the data to Google Photos, Google Docs, Dropbox, or Koofr.
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To download your data, open Facebook and go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Your Facebook Information. Next, click “View” next to the “Download Your Information” option. Or you can transfer your data from the same location. Simply click “View” next to “Transfer a copy of your information.”
If you choose to download your data, you will be prompted to select which data you wish to download. You will then need to request the download, which could take a while.
If you choose to transfer your data, you will be prompted to select the service and type of data you wish to transfer. Please note that certain services only allow certain types of data to be transferred. For example, Google Photos only accepts transfers of photos and videos, while Google Docs only accepts notes and posts.
Manage your Facebook Pages and Groups
If you run a business or fan page or group, and you are the only administrator, the page will be deleted and the group will be archived when you delete your Facebook account. This could be especially a problem if your business is active on Facebook and you need to keep the page up and running.
Depending on the situation, there are some things you can do. If it’s a fan page or group and you’re no longer interested in running it, you can add someone else as an admin to keep it alive. However, if it’s for your business, you’ll need to add another employee as an administrator, or if you’re a small business and can’t allocate the funds to hire a social media manager, you’ll need to create a “Disposable Account” and add that account as administrator.
Essentially, the sole purpose of that account will be to keep the page or group alive. If this is the route you take, don’t add anyone, post anything, or follow any additional pages or groups. Otherwise, there’s no point in deleting your account to begin with.
Check and disconnect Facebook from other logins and apps
Facebook can be used as a login method for many applications on the web, such as Spotify, GoDaddy, Tinder, Instagram and many others. For some of these apps, using Facebook may be the only way to log in to your account.
To see which apps and websites Facebook uses to sign you in, go to Settings & Privacy > Settings > Apps & Websites. The list of apps and websites that appear are those that are currently connected to Facebook.
You’ll need to check each app or website and make sure you have a different way to sign in to your account. Otherwise, you will need to create a password for your account before you log out of Facebook.
For some people, Facebook is the main medium (if not the only media. This is especially true for those who live abroad, where a simple phone call is not that simple. There are several messaging apps (and other social media platforms) that you can use to keep in touch.
It may take some convincing, but if you’re determined to get rid of Facebook for good, you’ll need to take control and find another way to stay in touch. You can suggest messaging apps like Signal or Telegram, or you can try finding your family and friends on Instagram (although if you’re deleting Facebook, you might want to consider ditching Instagram as well).
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Delete Facebook forever (no second chances after 30 days)
Once you’ve done all the necessary cleanup, you’re ready to permanently delete Facebook. To do so, go to Settings and privacy > Settings > Your Facebook information > Deactivation and deletion. You will then be on the account deactivation and deletion page.
Please note that deactivating your account does not actually delete your account or your data. It just disables your account, temporarily removing you from most things you’ve been a part of on Facebook.
Deleting your account is the goal here. Once you delete your account, Facebook will delete all your data from its servers within 90 days. If you have buyer’s remorse, you can recover your account within 30 days of submitting the request to delete it. Simply log in to your Facebook account and click “Cancel Deletion”.
Just keep in mind that once the 30-day threshold is passed, your account and data will be gone forever, there’s no going back.
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