Around this time last year I gave up on Facebook. I deleted the majority of the information on my account and stopped using it. This past January I deleted it for good. Facebook gone from my life forever.
I was reluctant in signing up for Facebook, and avoided it for years, even after endless prodding from Ali and others. I simply did not want an account because I didn’t trust Facebook, nor did I see the need for it in my life. I caved in late 2009 to early 2010 because I was looking for a job in marketing, and how could you have a job in marketing without a Facebook page?
I signed up for an account, but didn’t add many friends. I added Ali, and a few others. I didn’t intend to fully use it, only have a presence there. Slowly but surely people started to find my account through Ali’s and they would add me. I gave in and added people as well.
I didn’t post much, but what I did post was stuff I cross posted from Twitter, a social network that I truly love. I got a decent amount of feedback on those tweets that I posted to Facebook, and I got sucked into the validation. It was also fun cracking jokes in the comments of people’s posts. It reminded me of what I liked about MySpace (ha, remember MySpace?).
I had my account pretty locked down. You couldn’t find me in the search unless we had a friend in common. Any personal information was hidden, or fake. I even made an completely new email address that I only used for Facebook.
I didn’t trust Facebook (and I still don’t). They proved time and time again that they don’t care about their users’ privacy. They would update their software and it would overwrite all of your security settings. They would automatically opt you into whatever asinine new feature they were launching which would expose you or items you wanted private, often without you having no prior knowledge.
Last June I got fed up and made one last post that I was leaving, and then wrote about it on my blog. I didn’t delete my account right away because I didn’t see the purpose of it. Facebook doesn’t delete profiles, they deactivate them. They would still have all my information stored somewhere on their servers. This is their modus operandi.
That is when I changed my personal information, and unliked any service, company, whatever I had liked over the 2 years I used Facebook. I disconnected the few apps that I had connected to Facebook (which because I didn’t want to give Facebook any information about myself that I didn’t need to, this was a vey small number).
No one could write on my wall, or tag me in posts. I rarely checked or responded to messages on Facebook, so if someone was looking to reach me there they were out of luck.
I scrubbed myself from Facebook as much as possible.
I was done. I was gone.
I did, however, sign on about once a month to make sure nothing had changed in my account or privacy settings. Once or twice I had to lock things back down when Facebook automatically opted me into new features.
Shortly before I did all this Facebook bought Instagram. This really upset me because I loved Instagram, and I knew with Facebook in control they would surely screw it up and that my days were numbered.
It took Facebook about a year to screw up Instagram, and they did see an exodus of users. Of which, I was one. Instagram updated their Terms of Service with some really terrible wording, which seemed like they were going to sell your photos and information to advertisers. They could track where you posted pictures from and advertisers could use your photos without your knowledge. Instagram said that those claims were not true, but ended up rolling the terms back to a previous version.
Their terms still state some weird things, and it’s only a matter of time before they put the offending items back in.
This is how Facebook operates. You are not the customer, you are the product. Facebook’s customers are their advertisers. And they sell everything about you that they can. They track you all over the Internet, wherever you see their Like button, they can gather information about you, whether you’re logged into Facebook or not. If you’d rather NOT be tracked by Facebook and other services there are many browser plugins that you can install, like Do Not Track Me.
Because of all of this, and the fact that I had to keep checking in on my security settings after I left Facebook I decided to delete my Facebook account in January of 2013. I had found a website with instructions which claimed to show you how to fully delete your account. For those of you who are interested, these are the instructions I followed to fully delete my Facebook account.
The instructions tell you not to sign in for two weeks after, or you will risk having your deletion request terminated. I waited about a month and a half to try and login to see if my account was actually deleted. To my surprise it was. I was gone from Facebook.
I’m back to getting weird looks from people when they ask if I’m on Facebook and I tell them “no”.
“Why not?! Everything is on Facebook!” That’s my problem with it.
Do I ever miss Facebook? Not at all. But what I do miss is seeing photos of my niece and nephews. I did sign up for a new Instagram account (that I don’t log into on my phone or post photos to) so I could see the photos of the kids that my sister and sisters-in-law post.
I’m done with Facebook, and good riddance.
If you want to follow me online, you can do so here: