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facebook-trashpng.pngYesterday, I deleted my Facebook profile. Assuming I don't relent within the next two weeks, it will then disappear, entirely. Forever. Upon announcing these glad tidings to James (he sits next to me) and on Twitter, the general response I got was "Why would you do that?".

It's true, removing oneself  from a network as huge and overarching as Facebook may at first look a little extreme. Perhaps even a tad sociopathic. But it needn't be that way. Just because I've stopped using Facebook, that doesn't mean I'm planning to relocate to the mountains and await the Mayan apocalypse in wide-eyed solitude.

There are plenty of reasons why deleting your Facebook profile might be a good idea. Here are five that convinced me:

1 - Getting Things Done

It's not like I was so hooked on Facebook that I never got anything else done. But Facebook is carefully designed so that it becomes practically the only website you ever use. And what that means is that sending a quick message to a friend via Facebook inevitably results in looking at photos of a colleague's summer holiday or getting involved in some water-cooler style discussion about the political issue of the day. Facebook's time consuming, distracting and doesn't really add any value to my life. I'll get more done without it.

2 - Facebook Isn't My Blog

My problem is that I can't resist a good argument and it doesn't take much provocation for me to stick my oar in. For various reasons, Facebook doesn't engender a very high level of debate. Not the level you'll find elsewhere, anyway. Which makes it even more frustrating than arguing with trolls on my own blog. Rather than risk massive hypertension, I've opted for the best cure: prevention.

3 - Lack Of Image Control

As I've mentioned before, I'm not particularly concerned by privacy online. I'm generally open about my identity, because I'm careful not to act in an embarrassing or offensive way online. And save for a couple of slip ups, that's a policy which has worked. What I have less control over is people on Facebook uploading photos and tagging me in them. I'm not famous, so I can't imagine why anyone would want to have more than one photo of me watching a band or sitting in a chair. No Facebook profile? No photos tagged with my identity. (BTW - if you are concerned by privacy, do not read this interview with a Facebook employee).

4 - The (Worst) Apps (In The World)

Except for Scrabulous, and when I've had to test one at work, I've never used any of the 'social' games that have helped to make Facebook so popular. Jon's withering criticism of Farmville hits the nail on the head, and I'm inclined to agree with this article which warns of the anti-social nature of such apps. It's not just the apps, of course: it's the nagging, faintly depressing invitations and updates from those of your Facebook friends who are easily entertained enough to spend hours clicking away. You start to think: how come so many people I'm friends with now seem like extras from Idiocracy? I don't want to feel like that: I'm better off without Facebook.

5 - Facebook Is So Over, Anyway

Well, this might not be true quite yet. But it'll happen soon. Social networks traditionally don't have a life expectancy above about five years (that is, from launch to peak traffic). Facebook is different, in that it's a better designed site than its predecessors and its development team seems quite quick to react to new trends. But will you be using Facebook in 10 years time? No. Nor will I, because I've already left it. That makes me an early-abandoner. Which means I'm cool. Cooler than you are, anyway.

(How to delete your Facebook profile)

facebook-account-deletion.png

Visit this page and follow the prompts. Then leave your account for 14 days. After this time, your account will be erased. You won't be able to restore it, so be careful! I've got a backup account anyway, just in case.

Commented

  • Matt Perkins |
    20/08/10
    Matt Perkins

    I don't like Facebook myself but it still has it's purposes for most people. First off a lot of sites you can use your Facebook account to login in saving you time and possibly spam from signing up.

    Another reason to keep it is while the apps are lame, some of the games can be a nice time killers. Especially for those who have have the game on their iPhone or iPod Touch but don't have the signal to play it so they can play that game on Facebook and it will sync up with their iPhone app.

    Finally it's way for people to stay in the loop. Companies could very easily make a Facebook account and have their employees join so they can talk to each other even if their away from the office.

    So with all the downsides of Facebook even if you hate it, there are reasons to at least have it even if you don't use it.

  • Curt |
    07/09/10
    Curt

    2 words:

    1. Self 2. Control.

  • mike |
    07/09/10
    mike

    Three words:

    1. Facebook 2. Sucks 3. Dick

  • leo |
    07/09/10
    leo

    personally I like the fact i can stay in contact with friends/family from over the years. Dont use the apps and dont use facebook for more than 30 minutes a day; often less; but still find it a great product.

  • Steve |
    07/09/10
    Steve

    I've been telling friends of mine to do the same as you have, by dropping Facebook and other Social Media.

    Reason, it never was and certainly is even less now, A FREE LUNCH!

    Difference being, in the beginning they as for only a small favor (your email address, acceptance of the weekly newsletter...) then as you become more "hooked" the price goes up. They now want to use your "click stream" to tell marketers and advertisers how to "influence" you and how to "predict" your "behavior". Next, it will be the FBI, CIA and NSA who want to know this information and, the price will increase again.

    Just like you would enjoy free rent, you would not once the one condition to be constant filming of your personal life within the apartment, for all to see and know (at least most of us would not prefer such a fishbowl).

    I'll have to agree, ALL SOCIAL MEDIA are a passing fad, much like the hula hoop, pet rocks, and DISCO. Media is social, and not the other way around...what Facebook, Twitter and MySpace do is SOCIAL MARKETING.

    At least call it what it is.

    Steven

  • Mohsin |
    07/09/10
    Mohsin

    Very Good

  • Praty |
    07/09/10
    Praty

    I agree with Curt... Self control is all that's required with social networking sites... I too was too much addicted to farmville once... But now I have practically razed my farm (addicted players will know how difficult this is :P ) and stopped visiting completely... I don't wanna agree with you Tom, I have my reasons for my fb account... Day before yesterday I found a long lost friend who left school when we were in 4th std. (grade). And I'd thank fb for that...

    Nicely written though.. Reminds me to not pay too much attention at those posts and pics...

  • sahil |
    08/09/10
    sahil

    Think,check!Think again & again & again...............WHY U SHOULD LEAVE FACEBOOK? Ans:- Important thing in your life is time,so save it; every body needs safety,save your privacy save your self, and so on so on so on so on ,I have alot og things to say but the page is not quit enough to explain, Kind Regards

  • heergerard |
    08/09/10
    heergerard

    yes you're cool in a positive way especialy since that does make me cooler i left when the radio announced half a billion members and a softonic mail waiting for me when i got home to help me do just that i did check just now (it's been a month + ) they do not know me .

    heergerard

  • Jorge |
    09/09/10
    Jorge

    As I read this, I'm left wondering why I should care what any of you think of facebook and whether or not you have a profile there.

    Seriously folks, live and let live.

  • dingiling |
    09/09/10
    dingiling

    Come on guys! What a garbage. Facebook and i-worm filled e-mails. Months after I deleted my account still can't get rid of them. Farmville? You can contact your friend elsewhere. (Go back to Kindergarten.)

  • jmo |
    10/09/10
    jmo

    fb is ok! Don't let it become central to your life. It is not priority. Farmville?...if you have time to get involved in that, you must not have much of a life(unless of course it helps you relax and unwind) everyone to their own thoughs

  • dingiling |
    11/09/10
    dingiling

    I agree with Steve and mike. jmo comment is the best, Farmwille helps you relax? and unwind? (Maybe if you over 70 :o)

  • Ignacio Segura |
    29/09/10
    Ignacio Segura

    I never had a Facebook and I dont think I will ever get one. All my classmates were like WHOA DUDE WHY DONT YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK!?!?! YOU LAME ANTISOCIAL @#@$%$!! If you want to contact someone, call them or go to their house. Your life was fine before Facebook, why should it be different now? And if I got one, I think I would be there all day playing those silly games trying to beat the 1 trillion high score.

  • Software Santa |
    30/09/10
    Software Santa

    I, too, never had a Facebook/My Space/Twit account. I still Have a life, anyway.

    As a matter of fact: I'm Too Busy having fun working and playing on the 6 Domains I Already OWN to want to go play games on ANYONE Else's Site.

    I PROVIDE Internet Content (See my Web Site): I don't NEED To SUBSCRIBE to it.

    And I value my privacy too much to give out that many personal details to strangers .....

  • Jeffrey Pillow |
    01/12/10
    Jeffrey Pillow

    I just deleted my Facebook account last Monday. Had it since 2004. I'd love to get back all the time I wasted over those six-and-a-half years: http://www.jeffreypillow.com/post/1703432032/farewell-facebook-ta-ta-twitter-delete

  • Steve |
    11/12/10
    Steve

    These are great reasons why you should delete your Facebook.

    The only way Facebook can be a good thing is if you remain in this state of mind. Family and friends only, No crazy pictures, no crazy commenting, no ties to anything negative that could come back and hit you hard later on.

    But above is a perfect world. Here is what really happens. Reason 1

    Your friend has a friend who see's your picture. If they think you are cute they will click on it. Maybe add you saying they know your friend. If you accept you've now created a stalker. Who will check out your page day in and day out. Then the day will come when you bump into them on the road and then they creep you out because they know everything about you.

    Reason 2

    Cheating. Facebook is now the number one relationship killer. It causes so much drama. Dont tell me that you havnt heard this one before. Who is so and so, why are they commenting you on facebook this "quote"? drama drama drama. And there is a paper trail for all of that has happened in the past too my friend. And you will hear from it.

    Reason 3

    Nosy people. Including your parents, friends, teachers, police, and jobs. Not having facebook will cure this problem.

    Reason 4

    Anti socialism. ok, Its about time ive told you that I dont have a facebook account. But from what I can tell you Facebook has made people I know more and more anti social. they prefer texting instead of calling, they prefer to talk about facebook at a party instead of chatting about football.

    Reason 5

    My girfriend is arguing about this s right now. SEE F this crap

  • Tracy |
    11/01/11
    Tracy

    I'm 24 years old and was there for the start of the facebook craze; I just deleted my facebook account New Years Eve 2010 and have been without it for 10 days; I can't believe my 14 day 'are you sure' period is almost here! I also can't believe how much simplified my life feels without facebook and how easy it is without it! I was as addicted to facebook as addicted can be and was "worried" about what life would be like without facebook, then I felt silly for worrying what life would be like outside of a social networking site.

    Honestly my "friends" were more concerned about my facebook deletion than I was and I was/am more concerned for them as they kept saying "Stay in touch!" Well, first of all, we ONLY stay 'in touch' via facebook through pointless comments on a picture or news feed item. Second, the good friends I NORMALLY stay in touch with said 'stay in touch'! Um, we DO! We text, call each other, AND visit each other...facebook isn't the glue holding us together!

    And then the freak outs of "Oh my gosh, why are you deleting facebook?" happened. Well, I can't describe it and I guess you won't understand until you are ready to be social networking free (Myspace, facebook, Twitter). Some people interpreted this as deletion of the internet. No, just facebook people...I have to use the internet for e-maail, school research, and the occasional trip to youtube/TV Network sites to watch tv as I don't have cable.

    I don't have a Vendetta against facebook at all, but I found myself becoming more reliant on the dang website than I wanted to and found myself in a world of 'fake' friendships. I couldn't start a verbal conversation without saying OR hearing "Did you see so-and-so's facebook page?" or "Did you see my facebook pic?" or how about "Oh, nevermind, you saw that on my facebook already." I am joining those who think it's weird that this thing/phenomenon known as facebook is taking over daily lives even in the pure form of conversation. Even when I had a myspace page I don't ever remember it being involved in daily conversation as much as facebook!

    Ok off my rant...I can really get going on it. I don't hate the website (like I said I used to be addicted) but people's reaction to me deleting my account really put things into perspective. (A perk was I was surprised by how many people said they would miss my status updates because they made their day...and my statuses were honestly about my daily life? Weird...!). So I can understand both sides of the coin and I don't think anyone should be condeming another for either decision.

  • luicy simon |
    16/01/11
    luicy simon

    i just deleted my facebook and some how i feel like im becoming a social loser or something. but i think i was becoming a facebook addict.whatam i going to put on my status? and should i chat with this person who is also online? and wouldilook stupid if i dont have a trillion friends like the rest of my classmates?and if i need more pictures in which i look more cute in to impress that boy i had a crush on since 7th grade who i also added as a friend because of that reason... in conclusion facebook almost ruined my life because i was trying to keep up with richer classmates who had i-phones at the age of thirteen,my grades began to drop because all i can think about was getting a job in order to buy a phone, in order to take many "cute" pictures, and in order to gain many "friends" so that the guy i liked could pay attention to me and i could gain popularity at the same time...its still hard to not go on it when i go online but i hope that i can make it until the next fourteen days so that my account could be gone forever....by the way i am fifteen years old.

  • think |
    21/01/11
    think

    I've found 'social media' to cater more to attention whores, lonely/depressed types,and people who want to sell you somthing than a good way to connect with friends. Go outside without the stuff connected to you and btw stop lookin at ur godd*am iphone!

  • Jane |
    05/03/11
    Jane

    I've had my facebook account for about a year (maybe less). And I have just deleted my account today. I 'deleted' my account before but canceled it on the 11th day. I guess I chickened out. But not this time. I want to live life how it used to be-not with facebook hanging over me. It's true, facebook ruins relationships. It complicated things; you are either worrying about whether your profile picture is 'edited' enough, whether you should update your status again, go on a liking spree, or poke people. Personally, I didn't find any of the apps addictive. The reason why I have decided to delete my account is because it took up so much time, and I am trying to detach myself from materialistic things. I was too attached to facebook and frankly, quite sick of it. I'm looking forward to life, but I guess facebook had taught me is that trust no-one because the world is a scary place. P.S. I find the use emotions e.g. :), :(, :P, xD etc, are ridiculous.

  • Hepburn |
    15/03/11
    Hepburn

    I just deleted my account today, well technically it will b e gone in 14 days. If people want to contact me, they can e-mail me or text me through the phone. Whatever happened to the good of days of just merely calling people? Receiving a call or even a letter was a big thing back then! I'm 19, and some of my friends even flipped out once I decided to delete it. Ha-ha, I found that quite odd, but funny. Without Facebook, I think I shall be more productive with my time with school.

  • Blagger |
    15/04/11
    Blagger

    My account was reopened during the 14 days I had to leave it before it was deleted. Some clever hacker managed to get into it and sent out a whole suite of spam mail to me and many others from my own account, clever eh!. God only knows who did the dirty deed. I solved this by reopening the account and changing the password to one which was a combination of every key on my keyboard........ end of story, end of facebook than goodness.

  • karthik |
    16/04/11
    karthik

    Even after leaving Facebook, you spend time writing about it. That's not 'cool'.

  • ihatefacebook |
    19/04/11
    ihatefacebook

    I deleted facebook august 2010. Man did i feel like the world was off my shoulders. Its addicting. you start making excuses on why you need it b/c some hot chick just sent you a message, you found a old friend, you get to see who is progressing in life and who isnt, you get to scan through your friends 750 photos they have, you can email your grandparents instead of call them, and the list goes on. I can't go anywhere with out someone asking me if i have facebook, an when i tell them no they go "oh my gosh, everyone has facebook". well i don't you idiot. Geez people are so reliant on it. They all need to get a life and go back to the old days of calling people or texting. people are not using email anymore because of facebook. It just makes me sick to hear all these facebook addicts tell me im crazy and dumb for not having facebook. I still today have people tell me im there facebook friend but when they go online to look im gone. People don't keep track of there friends, they keep track of the stupid people who post ever five minutes about what there doing. Who cares what your doing!!!!! screw facebook......

  • mama |
    22/05/11
    mama

    i soo agree with you guys!!

  • mama |
    23/05/11
    mama

    i dont know what to do about facebook anymore it really isnt much importance in it. I have been thinking about deactivating my facebook but i have relatives from the other side of the world so i think its good for that.yet i limit my use for it like every 3 to 4 months im on. its no use to be on it frequently especially for those on it who never pay any mind to you ?? most people are soo all about themselves on facebook its disqusting and sad and talk about passive- agressiveness shit and stupid gossip. I really wish someone can tell me in my face instead of in back of a computer screen Pussies!! smh

  • ICT_Dreamer |
    30/05/11
    ICT_Dreamer

    I'm kind agree with this article...

    My FB is lacked recently.... the networking is getting bad, my 1st FB account has been hacked for 2 times... So, I already deactivate my 1st account, and sign in for a 2nd account...

    But, I still have to be active in FB, because my friends and relatives always stay touched with me, by FB...

    Anyway, different people have different opinion...

28/11/14
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