10 steps to getting off of Facebook (and why)

Update 6/11/2022

Sat 5/11/2022, marks the end of my membership in Facebook. Having communicated my decision to family and friends, I created my own Discord server for posting public stuff with only people who are really interested in following me, and having downloaded all my FB data for archiving and safekeeping, I requested the deletion of my FB account. This decision includes, Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram which are also owned my Meta.

Step 1. Disable all mobile notifications and those app icons that keep reminding us of them on our home screens.

Because this is how you start getting de-detoxified from constantly being distracted and having to turn your attention to it. You just relax for a change, and maybe once a day you check what new notifications have accumulated and you seriously evaluate how really important any of these are. You’ll probably see that most if not all of them were not worthy of your immediate attention at the time they were generated.

Step 2. Unfriend people who (a) I don’t even remember anymore or know who they are in the first place (b) are ex-colleagues who I never see anymore and I haven’t made any contact for over a year.

Because what’s the point?

Step 3. Remove Facebook app from all devices.

Because if you don’t really know or intent to stay in touch with all these people why would you care to pay attention to what they have to share or most importantly share anything with them?

Ironically I actually unfriend people when I get notified about their birthdays. IT saves my having to go through an endless list and pick them out one-by-one, and it all pretty much ends within a year’s time. Not very nice but there you have it.

Optionally: delete any Groups you may have created and opt-out of any groups you may be in.

Step 4. Unlink any and all accounts that are linked to Facebook.

Because why should they have access to your Facebook information in the first place. Plus if your Facebook account ever gets hacked all of the information on those sites would become available to the hackers as well.

Step 5. Turn off these settings to make your account more private.

Because even if you finish at the last step, you should still make sure everything is private and secure before you get it “deleted”.

Step 6. Notify people with a simple post that they shouldn’t expect reactions from you.

Because you don’t want people to (a) expect “thank you’s” for wishing you on your birthday and (b) you wouldn’t want them to worry (??) about something having happened to you, right?

Step 7. Optionally create a new Messenger account just for personal messaging.

Because you can actually have one without a full Facebook account. Just by signing up with you email address. And use it for messaging with friends and people you actually know.

Also consider using the Messenger Lite app, which is well… lighter, uses way less data/memory etc. and is less distracting.

Step 8. Create a new Facebook page for just your blog and for nothing personal.

Because Facebook is still a good way to “market and promote” your content, only now you have control over this content, not Facebook. And stay disciplined about how you use it, no personal stuff.

Step 9. Delete any photos with personal content, and any other personal information.

Because even if you delete your account, it doesn’t hurt to be extra sure that specific content is marked as deleted.

Step 10. Delete the account entirely. Bye bye Facebook!

Because either you are serious about this or you’re just kididng youself. From time to time I read how just deleting your account doesn’t guarantee you that your data will be fremoved and it how it will continue to show up in searches for perpetuity, but things change to our benefit and I do sincerely hope that soon Facebook and all the search giants, will respect and honor people’s wishes and regulators demands to actually “vanish” all traces of our online activity should we ask them to. Which is why you should make sure that you actually DELETE the account.

Also, if you device to “just keep it around for future reference” I guarantee you that at some point you will be tempted to re-use it somehow, post something, or friend someone. And you wouldn’t want that temptation hanging above your head, now would you?

Optionally: for companies and organisations that you want to keep receiving updates and information, either (a) signup to their email newsletters or (b) follow them on Twitter.

What about my news?

I understand that for many of us, Facebook has become something of a “news aggregator/curator”. The solution I have opted is to use Twitter and specific news apps for general “World News” and I use mostly Flipboard for discovery of  articles tailored to by own personal interests.

Anything else that Facebook has been trying to get me to read, and turn my attention to, has been mostly a distraction and a waste of my time. But I do respect that some of you might not share this point of view.

What about Birthday Reminders?

Well if you really care about these people, then you can set reminders through your mobile phones Contacts or Calendar.

Do you really need to suck-up to all those “friends” by wishing them once a year and forgetting they even exist the remaining 364 days?

Up Next: “5 Steps to getting rid of Instagram?” (coming soon)

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