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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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How to Leave Facebook. Probably.

November 23, 2020

If you only joined Facebook to stalk other people and never posted anything ever, this is very easy. Delete and leave.

If you joined Facebook all innocent like and then suddenly found yourself locked in because it is your scrapbook, your contact list, and the only place you ever stored your kids’ best pictures, you might need more help. Since I especially love teaching people about things I only just recently learned, let’s go, shall we?

First, I have to say that I Facebook was very good to me. I met people I never would have known, stayed in contact with people I would have long lost contact with, and, as mentioned already, found a quick and easy way to store family memories and avoid blogging. Second, I have to add, Facebook was not always good. There’s a lot of negatives that I could let go of, but the loss of my and my family’s privacy to the hands of an unknown internet went from a nagging concern to a shouting worry.

I had several false attempts to leave Facebook, but always came back when it seemed like nothing but that platform would do. I knew that I needed to let it go so I could grow in other ways, and, after lots of trying, I finally did. Kind of. (Facebook doesn’t make it easy.)

The first thing I did was go to “Settings and Privacy” on my FB menu and select “Settings”. From there, I clicked “Your Facebook Information” and then, “Download Your Facebook Information”. This gave me a menu of everything I had ever posted, liked, looked at, friended, messaged, poked, or shared.

From that menu I first sat for 10 minutes, scrolling with my jaw on the keyboard at every little detail FB had on me. I ignored the option to see how much time I had spent on FB in 12 years, and selected each item I wanted to save forever; this included posts, pictures, messages, and notes. I was sad that I could not save comments others made on my posts and that gave me pause, but I carried on.

It took about four hours for FB to collect all my info. I imagined a tired clerk, lumbering around a massive library and slinging all my documents into a cart, because I couldn’t imagine what on earth would take a computer so long. After four hours, I received a zip drive to open. This is the part where I had my IT husband step in to handle the process and I got us a snack, so I cannot tell you what to do. What I do know is that the zip drive did in fact contain everything I had requested. If all you get is a zip drive, you are almost there.

Finally, I had everything all saved. Now the only thing left to do is to delete. Permanently.

Deep breath and then I go to “Settings”, click on “Deactivate or Delete Account”, and then click on “Delete”.

This is where FB starts its Bobby Brown song. “Are you sure?” “You can never come back if you leave now.” “Won’t you miss me?” “Girl, I need you.”

Feeling brave, I told Bobby Brown to stand down. I clicked “Delete”. And that was it. Done. The next screen that popped up was what any old non-member would see, asking me if I would like to create an account. No, thank you, Facebook. We are over. So over.

What’s this on another tab? An email from Facebook? They probably just want to say goodbye. Those dears.

“Dear Facebook user, unless you log back in, your account will be deleted completely in 30 days. Should you log back in, the deletion process will be canceled.”

No. No, no, no, no. Why, Facebook?

My immediate desire was to log back in and make a funny FB update about how weird it feels to delete my account and how FB would linger long after a delete, just in case you are weak, and I am weak. I held strong and texted a friend instead.

So, I am now 24 hours into my big Facebook Delete that isn’t really a delete until 30 days with no peeking passes. My thumb has mindlessly gone to the app on my phone, only to find the login page waiting. Nope. I will not log in. Why is my phone even in my hand? Shouldn’t I be making dinner? Or laundry? Where am I, even?

Clearly, it is a slow recovery. Good luck to you, should you decide to also take the leap. Should you decide not to take the leap, throw your old friend a favor and give a FB like and share. I’ll just be over here blogging, like the ghost of internet past.

5 responses to “How to Leave Facebook. Probably.”

  1. Janelle Vermilion says:

    I debate this everyday, especially with two businesses using this as a marketing platform. I got all my pictures downloaded to my computer. Ready to click delete, then across Vermilion Homes has come two new clients! I then have this one dialog….. “God will bring you clients inspite of Facebook Janelle”

    Ugh! Just ugh!

    • Eric's Wife says:

      It’s the worst. My dream job is writing and public speaking. How do you do that without social media? Part of me thinks it can’t be done and I’ll be crawling back in six months. Don’t follow my lead, because I am flying blind and without a license.

  2. Kristen Menchaca says:

    I agree so much on these issues. I already have my items downloaded. I just had my birthday so once I get to thank everyone and send a message I’m leaving I will hit the delete button! Maybe then I can focus on really homeschooling my 3 year old instead of flying by the seat of my pants?! I’m looking forward to having more time to be creative and productive. I also saved your number so I’m sure you’ll be getting random messages from me at some point about homeschooling questions ❤️.

    • Eric's Wife says:

      After 12 years, I am finding it takes a bit more untangling than I thought. I was almost asleep last night when I realized the names of 3 people I was going to completely lose contact with, so I had to log in this morning to send them messages. I managed to avoid scrolling, but, boy, it’s my siren’s song.
      Do keep in touch! I love random messages!

  3. Jennifer Mack says:

    I love this and you. I delete the app off my phone every now and then just to see if I can go a week.

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