Deleted My Facebook Account

31

I finally did it. Even before the Cambridge Analytics deal, I was considering deleting my FB account. About two months ago I removed the FB app from my phone. I didn’t need that kind of connected anymore. Across all my services I felt like I was in notification hell and started to purge.

I don’t believe these companies are “spying” on me per se. For example, I want Amazon and Target to track my buying habits so I get ads and offers and suggestions that matter to me.

But Facebook is personal. I put stuff on Facebook to share with my family and friends…not data analytics companies.

It was a good reminder of what Facebook is: free.

I really thinking about not using gmail anymore either and paying for a Office365 account or using iCloud’s email (I’m a part time Mac user).

Do I trust companies like Microsoft and Apple more than Google or Facebook? I dunno….maybe. Could Microsoft and Apple misuse my data too? Sure. But at least Microsoft and Apple make money by selling stuff.

With Google and Facebook, my data is how they make money.

It has me re-thinking what I use.

Any thoughts?

Comments (31)

31 responses to “Deleted My Facebook Account”

  1. hrlngrv

    For businesses more is always better, so selling stuff is no guarantee of good behavior.

  2. simmonm

    I just saw this...I would love to delete mine, but unfortunately I manage a fledgling small business page and can't afford to lose the communication we built up at this point with our customers. We run a small hometown business and unfortunately a lot of our clientele use and most likely will continue to use Facebook. Until that changes I will remain there.


    Just my thoughts... there does seem to be a momentum starting to build here, but is it the I hate M$ and am installing Linux momentum or is the MySpace is lame level of momentum and I am going to FB (ironic). The best we can hope for is that a better solution will present itself based on more open standards. I am not a fan of all of his opinions but Dave Winer has had some interesting comments on FB over on his blog at scripting dot com - in case you were interested.

  3. Tim

    I'm 6+ months into this and my life feels so much better.

  4. lordbaal1

    Unlike Leo, you probably won't keep coming back and then deleting your account over and over and over and over again.

    How many times have he left Facebook and then came back?

    I never had an account, never going to have one. I just don't see the need for one.

    • wright_is

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      That is the problem, when you have to report on what Facebook is doing and what new features it has. His conscience tells him to leave, but professionally he still needs to keep an account. That happened to me as well, I quit, then my previous employer made me responsible for the company Facebook page, so I had to make a new account. I deleted it straight away, when I left the company.

  5. Daekar

    Welcome to the other side. You'll be amazed how much better life is without Facebook.


    I have sort of taken the same stance... if I'm not paying for a product, it's suspect. So far it has worked out well for me.

  6. Thom77

    I wouldnt give Apple too much credit.


    They only became pro-privacy after their iAd mobile advertising platform failed to compete in the marketplace. Their privacy stance is actually a strategic business move, not one based on some sort of sense of morality. That being said, I felt way more secure in my data when I had my iphone SE compared to my current android phone now, which seems to allow apps to run secretly in the background even though I have not initiated them, only revealing themselves occasionally through random notifications.


    As far as the Cambridge thing, the same thing happened in the 2012 election, where an Obama facebook based app collected data not only on the person who downloaded it, but also of all their "friends" who did not give the same permission for data collection that the downloader did. Not directing this towards the OP, but as a general observation, I find it curious that a lot of people who are outraged over the Cambridge thing conveniently ignores the fact that the same thing was done in the Obama campaign. Funny how that works.


    I was on Facebook a long time ago, realized I really didnt care about anyone's life as much as they think I did, and deleted my account within days of making it. I was on twitter for a day, which was long enough for me to witness the mob mentality that feeds in that platform, and deleted my account. It was during the time when some NFL Cowboys player killed another player in a drinking and driving accident, and I only noted that the person who was killed had some part to play in his own death, because he CHOSE to get into a car with another person he knew was drunk. The pitchforks came out, and I never looked back.


    What really disturbs me is that a lot of android phones are coming with Facebook preinstalled, and sure, now you can "disable" it, but seriously ... does anyone really trust this? I don't want it on my phone period.


    I think the psychological benefits of leaving Facebook outweigh any benefit derived from its use, and I congratulate anyone who leaves the platform.







  7. wright_is

    Welcome in the club. I deleted my first account in 2010,after about 6 months use. Then I had a job where I was responsible for social media and had to create an account just for work, which I deleted in June 2016, when I left the company.

  8. waethorn

    Check out the movie, "The Creepy Line".

  9. waethorn

    You lost me at these conflicting statements:


    "For example, I want Amazon and Target to track my buying habits so I get ads and offers and suggestions that matter to me.But Facebook is personal. I put stuff on Facebook to share with my family and friends…not data analytics companies."



  10. Jules Wombat

    If you wanted to protest, you would do more 'damage' to Facebook, by posting and putting up miss information. Just as the best way to damage any database, is not to delete data, but to slowly corrupt it, so its reputation declines.


    As to the US Congress hearings, Zuckerberg is doing reasonably OK, in the presence of mainly pretty dumb questioning. Facebook may be dominant, but it is not a Monopoly.


    I have never been a member of Facebook or Twitter, or much social media, as from the outset it is fairly obvious that all this social technology becomes incestuous and corrosive media. Its a pretty dumb of users thinking they are getting all this for free. How do they really think Facebook makes its money. Just like TV, its all about effective about Adsvertising. Duh!

  11. Minke

    I have always hated FB, but have been forced to use it in order to maintain a business site. Unfortunately, it is used by billions of people and is an effective marketing tool. To many people, FB is the only internet they know and is the only way they access information on businesses and organizations. So, if you are not there, you are invisible to many people. Maybe that is fine for you, but it is like saying, "I refuse to receive mail because I get so much junk." That is not realistic for most of us.

  12. lvthunder

    If you feel you don't get enough value out of Facebook then fine delete your account. There is no way I'd do that. I enjoy looking at the pictures of friends and family. If I left I would miss out on those moments that get forgotten when I see them 2-3 times a year. I'm also in a photography group that really helps each other out. I really don't post all that often and I know what they do with all the data and I'm not thrilled about it, but I don't care enough to leave over it.


    I also run my own web and email server so I don't have to worry there. I just have to keep the hackers out. But like you I trust companies more that sell products and not data or advertisements.

  13. Tony Barrett

    I'd just add MS are making less and less money by 'selling stuff'. They're definitely moving headlong into the data mining/user monetizing market, and Windows 10 is their 'miner'.


    On the subject of FB, I've never had an account. I've never felt the need to share everything I do online. I've never used Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram or any social media accounts either.

  14. Jeffery Commaroto

    I deleted mine. It took awhile for me to move work stuff (I am in advertising) over and I did purge some data before doing it. I also shut down any and all accounts that had used it for a login or were setup to share data.


    For me the tracking and the company’s horrible responses to issues over the years were just a part of it. Like others the election really turned me off of all social media and honestly the general quality of posts from others I have seen since then has declined. Most of the people in my network were already abandoning it. I don’t get enough out of the site to justify what I put into it. That became an easy decision.


    I do have one cop-out which is that my wife still has an account so she will be sharing all family photos with the network of relatives around the country and with the parents of school friends etc.


    As I get older I am becoming more discerning about what I put out into the world and what I bring into my life. I will never get a smart speaker. I turn off Siri and virtual assistants the second I get a device. I will not be putting cameras in my home. My days of commenting on most political issues publically are over. I only put things out with my real name attached to it because I think the anonymity people use online to say horrific things has gotten out of hand. Using my real name helps keep me grounded and more diplomatic.


    The US has and all Internet culture have changed in recent years and I find myself fearing what we have become and how all of our data is and will be used against us. The same for the whole world.

  15. SherlockHolmes

    I never had a Facebook account.

  16. moruobai

    Good for you. I'm with you on the paying for a product part instead of being the product.


    Tried FB years ago and it actually made me feel ... sad. It was so vivid. I might be on an extreme or really in touch with my feelings but I shared that reaction with friends and family and it was hard for people to understand. Now there's some research coming out, including FB's own research, that shows increased use of FB is linked with depression. Teenagers (which I am not) especially appear to be more likely to develop behavioral and emotional disorders with heavy usage.


    • joeaxberg

      In reply to moruobai:

      I think there is some truth to that. It is easy to get depressed on FB. My normally warm friendly relatives who would never say a mean thing in person suddenly became raging snarling partisans on FB. It was crazy.


      I think most teens these days only use FB to stay in contact with their parents. They've moved on to other social media platforms.

  17. Chris_Kez

    Did you delete all of your posts, likes, photos, etc. before deleting the account? If not, does FB just keep all of that stuff, or do they go back and scrub it? IIRC they didn't even used to technically delete your account, they would just de-activate it; I think it is now deleted, I'm just not sure what they do with your data.

    I'm on the fence about deleting my account too. I may just start a new one with the bare minimum of information and only re-friend my closest friends and family. The worst part will be re-training the algorithm to block all of the stupid stuff that people share.

    • gregsedwards

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      "I may just start a new one with the bare minimum of information and only re-friend my closest friends and family."

      I think you hit the nail there, Chris. That's how we were always supposed to use Facebook. In part, we got into this current mess because we allowed Facebook to replace services that weren't part of its original mission.

      I use Facebook more-or-less in the manner you described; that is, I'm friends with people I actually know, and I've taken time to put those people into groups like Family, Friends, Coworkers, Schoolmates, etc. I've also carefully flagged people I don't know as well as Acquaintances. I follow some businesses/pages that I actually care about, and I use the Marketplace to buy/sell locally. But I don't use many Facebook apps, I don't use Facebook for logins, and I certainly don't rely on Facebook for news. And you know what? I don't really have this negative Facebook experience that most other users complain about.

    • joeaxberg

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      I deleted as much as I could or I thought I could. I deleted all photos and videos (which took forever if they weren't in an album). I left all the groups I was a part of. Removed what personal data I had out there and made my account look less personal.


      The Mac partisans over at iMore.com seemed to take the Cambridge deal especially hard and put up all sorts of guides about removing data, deactivating, or deleting one's account. Indeed you can "deactivate" your account, which leaves all your data in place, but you're no longer active. People can't post stuff to you timeline or tag you or whatever.


      I however did an actual delete. According to FB, this will actually remove your data supposedly, but it also supposedly takes 14 days.


      I thought about starting up a replacement, more anonymous looking, account with just my immediate family and friends, but I don't think I'm going to do it. I'm still on Instagram where I'm following and followed by only a close circle of friends and family and we keep the photos pretty generic. I'm no longer geotagging the photos I put there, etc.

  18. Hoomgar

    I have had an account on FB since 2009.  I use it when I want to and provide only information that I don't care if made public.  Notifications?  I turn them off.  I read what I want, skip what I don't and block people I do not want to see.  I may use it once a week.  I've never had an issue using it like this.  It doesn't own my life like I see so many doing anymore.

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